Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology

Home   Genes   Leukemias   Solid Tumors   Cancer-Prone   Deep Insight   Case Reports   Journals  Portal   Teaching   

X Y 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 NA

Dysplastic nevus syndrome (DNS)

Written1999-10Claude Viguié
Service de Dermatologie, Hôpital Tarnier-Cochin, 89 rue d'Assas, 75006 Paris, France

(Note : for Links provided by Atlas : click)


Other namesFamilial atypical mole-malignant melanoma syndrome (FAMMM)
B-K mole syndrome
Atlas_Id 10013
Genes implicated inCDKN2A   CDKN2C   TP53BP1  
Inheritance autosomal dominant with high penetrance and variable expressivity; the frequency of DNS is difficult to evaluate because a number of cases without malignant evolution are not recorded; DNS defines patients with numerous dysplastic nevi. FAMMM defines families where coexist numerous nevi with malignant melanoma (MM)
sporadic forms of dysplastic nevi are not considered as DNS


Note the familial dysplastic nevus syndrome is a good example of a genetic disorder which leads to the practice of self prevention and prevention at the family level; the risk is the evolution towards MM
Phenotype and clinics predominant in patients with a clear complexion, blue eyes and/or presence of numerous nevi; the dysplastic nevus or "nevus of Clark" or "atypical melanocytic nevus" is a large mole with a variable size (5 to 15 mm), an irregular border and a color varying from dark brown to depigmentation; lesions are located mainly on the upper trunk, back, limbs, abdomen and arms; the number of moles is variable, from 10 to up to 100
  • histologic studies show the dysplastic nature of these nevi: junctional hyperplasia with isolated or clustered melanocytes, cells with large, irregular, hyperchromatic, and non mitotic nucleus; this aspect is intermediate between benign nevus and MM
      multiple dysplastic naevi on the skin of the bac, with (left) a surgically resected malignant melanoma on the scalp - Courtesy Daniel Wallach
    Neoplastic risk the main risk is to develop a MM but there is also a possible increased incidence of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and myeloma; MM usually arises from a dysplastic nevus (DN) but it can also appear de novo or from a benign nevus; it occurs most often in the skin but it may also involve other sites, mainly the eye or the central nervous system; the risk of MM depends on three factors:
  • 1- the number of nevi: MM occurs in 2 to 7% of the population; without DN the risk is multiplied by 2 if the total number of nevi is higher than 25; the risk is multiplied by 4 if they are more than 5 nevi with a diameter higher than 5 cm; the risk is multiplied by 2 with one DN and by 12 with 10 DN; 40% of MM occur on dysplastic nevi, more frequently in superficial than nodular forms
  • 2- the existence of at least one case of MM in the family (risk x 2); the risk of MM is 100% in case of FAMMM; the patients with DNS who develop MM are notably younger than patients with sporadic forms; the age of onset in FAMMM regresses from generation to generation
  • 3- the role of UV as a promoting factor is discussed; the number of DN increases with sun exposure
  • Treatment clinical vigilance and tumour exeresis
    Evolution the number of DN can increase during life with an increase in MM risk
    Prognosis according to the tumour expansion at the time of exeresis


    Inborn conditions a chromosome instability disorder was observed in cell cultures from the normal skin and dysplastic nevi over three-generations in DNS families, leading to translocations, duplications and deletions; in another study on MM, translocations involving bands 11q24, 1q25 and Xq13 were observed in patients with DNS, in dysplastic nevi and in the normal skin as well; a loss of chromosome 9 was found in 2 out of 4 DN, suggesting that deletion / inactivation of a gene on 9p may be a primary event in melanocyte transformation; loss of heterozygocity (LOH) for markers flanking the CDKN2A on 9p was described in primary MM and in a metastasis; other putative tumor suppressor genes which could be involved in the process are located in 1p13, 10p, 10q, 11q and 6q15-q23
    DNS is characterized cytogeneticaly by an UV-induced elevated level of sister chromatid exchange (SCE); the post-UV plasmid hypermutability test is a laboratory marker for FAMMM patients, suggesting a defective repair mechanism of UV-induced DNA damage; deficient DNA repair in lymphocyte studies also characterizes some patients with sporadic dysplastic nevi or non familial MM

    Genes involved and Proteins

    Gene Namestill unknown
    Location 1p36
    Note locus in 1p36 (called CMM1 for cutaneous malignant melanoma): this locus segregates with MM and DNS, but no gene is yet cloned

    Gene NameCDKN2C/p18 (cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 2C)
    Location 1p32.3
    Note locus in 1p32; this locus has been found mutated in the germline from patients with MM and other tumors

    Gene NameCDKN2A/p16 (cyclin dependent kinase 2a / p16)
    Location 9p21.3
    Note CDKN2A/p16/MTS1/CDK4 inhibitor (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A) ocus in 9p21; this locus has been designated as CMM2; germline mutations were found in this locus in 30 to 40% of patients with FAMMM, and in some patients with two cutaneous and/or mucous MM; P16 is a candidate gene for MM susceptibility; there is a p16 mutation in 10 to 14% of patients suffering from sporadic multifocal MM; P16 is also involved in several other types of cancers; other tumor suppressor genes located at 9p are hypothetically involved in MM progression

    Gene NameCDK4 (cyclin-dependent kinase 4)
    Location 12q14.1
    Note locus in 12q14; 2 germline mutations found in 3 FAMMM families

    Gene Namestill unknown
    Location 6q
    Note locus in 6q: a 6q allelic loss was identified in 21 of 53 informative loci; the chromosomal region bearing the highest frequency of 6q allelic loss was defined by the markers MYB and ESR located at 6q22-q23 and 6q24-q27, respectively; this may indicate genetic heterogeneity

    Gene NameMC1R (melanocortin 1 receptor)
    Location 16q24.3
    Note locus in 16q24.3; defined as possible susceptibility gene

    Gene NameTP53 (Tumour protein p53 (Li-Fraumeni syndrome))
    Location 17p13.1
    Note mutations were found in benign and dysplastic nevi from patients with previous personal or familial history of MM; however, these mutations are considered to be late events and cannot be used as a marker to identify patients at high risk of MM


    Characteristics of familial and non-familial melanoma in Australia.
    Ang CG, Kelly JW, Fritschi L, Dowling JP
    Melanoma research. 1998 ; 8 (5) : 459-464.
    PMID 9835460
    A review of inherited predisposition to melanoma.
    Cannon-Albright LA, Kamb A, Skolnick M
    Seminars in oncology. 1996 ; 23 (6) : 667-672.
    PMID 8970585
    Dysplastic nevi as a melanoma risk factor in patients with familial melanoma.
    Carey WP Jr, Thompson CJ, Synnestvedt M, Guerry D 4th, Halpern A, Schultz D, Elder DE
    Cancer. 1994 ; 74 (12) : 3118-3125.
    PMID 7982177
    Cytogenetic analysis in melanoma and nevi.
    Cowan JM, Francke U
    Cancer treatment and research. 1991 ; 54 : 3-16.
    PMID 1673858
    Linkage of cutaneous malignant melanoma/dysplastic nevi to chromosome 9p, and evidence for genetic heterogeneity.
    Goldstein AM, Dracopoli NC, Engelstein M, Fraser MC, Clark WH Jr, Tucker MA
    American journal of human genetics. 1994 ; 54 (3) : 489-496.
    PMID 8116618
    Acquired precursors of cutaneous malignant melanoma. The familial dysplastic nevus syndrome.
    Greene MH, Clark WH Jr, Tucker MA, Elder DE, Kraemer KH, Guerry D 4th, Witmer WK, Thompson J, Matozzo I, Fraser MC
    The New England journal of medicine. 1985 ; 312 (2) : 91-97.
    PMID 3964923
    Dysplastic nevus syndrome: intrafamilial identification of carriers by cytogenetics.
    Hürlimann AF, Bohnert E, Schnyder UW, Jung EG
    Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland). 1992 ; 184 (3) : 223-225.
    PMID 1392119
    Germline mutations of the CDKN2 gene in UK melanoma families.
    Harland M, Meloni R, Gruis N, Pinney E, Brookes S, Spurr NK, Frischauf AM, Bataille V, Peters G, Cuzick J, Selby P, Bishop DT, Bishop JN
    Human molecular genetics. 1997 ; 6 (12) : 2061-2067.
    PMID 9328469
    Chromosome rearrangements in dysplastic nevus syndrome predisposing to malignant melanoma.
    Hecht F, Hecht BK
    Cancer genetics and cytogenetics. 1988 ; 35 (1) : 73-78.
    PMID 3180013
    Overexpression of p53 is a late event in the development of malignant melanoma.
    Lassam NJ, From L, Kahn HJ
    Cancer research. 1993 ; 53 (10 Suppl) : 2235-2238.
    PMID 8485708
    Melanoma precursors in children.
    Lefkowitz A, Schwartz RA, Janniger CK
    Cutis; cutaneous medicine for the practitioner. 1999 ; 63 (6) : 321-324.
    PMID 10388950
    Detection of p53 mutations in benign and dysplastic nevi.
    Levin DB, Wilson K, Valadares de Amorim G, Webber J, Kenny P, Kusser W
    Cancer research. 1995 ; 55 (19) : 4278-4282.
    PMID 7671235
    Hypermutability of UV-treated plasmids in dysplastic nevus/familial melanoma cell lines.
    Moriwaki SI, Tarone RE, Tucker MA, Goldstein AM, Kraemer KH
    Cancer research. 1997 ; 57 (20) : 4637-4641.
    PMID 9377580
    Melanocytic nevi, dysplastic nevi, and malignant melanoma in children from melanoma-prone families.
    Novakovic B, Clark WH Jr, Fears TR, Fraser MC, Tucker MA
    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1995 ; 33 (4) : 631-636.
    PMID 7673498
    Cytogenetic study of neoplastic and nonneoplastic cells of the skin.
    Pavarino EC, Antonio JR, Pozzeti EM, Larranãga HJ, Tajara EH
    Cancer genetics and cytogenetics. 1995 ; 85 (1) : 16-19.
    PMID 8536232
    Screening of germline mutations in the CDK4, CDKN2C and TP53 genes in familial melanoma: a clinic-based population study.
    Platz A, Hansson J, Ringborg U
    International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer. 1998 ; 78 (1) : 13-15.
    PMID 9724087
    Inherited susceptibility to several cancers but absence of linkage between dysplastic nevus syndrome and CDKN2A in a melanoma family with a mutation in the CDKN2A (P16INK4A) gene.
    Puig S, Ruiz A, Castel T, Volpini V, Malvehy J, Cardellach F, Lynch M, Mascaro JM, Estivill X
    Human genetics. 1997 ; 101 (3) : 359-364.
    PMID 9439668
    Radiation-induced chromatid breaks and DNA repair in blood lymphocytes of patients with dysplastic nevi and/or cutaneous melanoma.
    Sanford KK, Parshad R, Price FM, Tarone RE, Thompson J, Guerry D
    The Journal of investigative dermatology. 1997 ; 109 (4) : 546-549.
    PMID 9326388
    Dysplastic nevi in relation to superficial spreading melanoma.
    Titus-Ernstoff L, Barnhill RL, Duray PH, Ernstoff MS, Kirkwood JM
    Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 1993 ; 2 (2) : 99-101.
    PMID 8467253


    This paper should be referenced as such :
    Viguié, C
    Dysplastic nevus syndrome (DNS)
    Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. 1999;3(4):212-214.
    Free journal version : [ pdf ]   [ DOI ]
    On line version :

    Other genes implicated (Data extracted from papers in the Atlas) [ 2 ]

    Genes CDK4 CDKN2A

    External links

    OrphanetFamilial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome
    REVIEW articlesautomatic search in PubMed
    Last year articlesautomatic search in PubMed

    © Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology
    indexed on : Mon Dec 14 18:29:46 CET 2020

    Home   Genes   Leukemias   Solid Tumors   Cancer-Prone   Deep Insight   Case Reports   Journals  Portal   Teaching   

    For comments and suggestions or contributions, please contact us