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Taking over the Atlas
Dear Colleagues,
The Atlas, once more, is in great danger, and I will have to proceed to a collective economic lay-off of all the team involved in the Atlas before the begining of April 2015 (a foundation having suddenly withdrawn its commitment to support the Atlas). I ask you herein if any Scientific Society (a Society of Cytogenetics, of Clinical Genetics, of Hematology, or a Cancer Society, or any other...), any University and/or Hospital, any Charity, or any database would be interested in taking over the Atlas, in whole or in part. If taking charge of the whole lot is too big, a consortium of various actors could be the solution (I am myself trying to find partners). Could you please spread the information, contact the relevant authorities, and find partners.
Survival of the Atlas will be critically dependant upon your ability to find solutions (and urgently!).
Kind regards.
Jean-Loup Huret
Donations are also welcome
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Don't let the Atlas imminent demise
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Naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCS)


Other namesGorlin syndrome
Gorlin-Goltz syndrome
Multiple basal cell nevi, odontogenic keratocysts, skeletal anomalies
Fifth phacomatosis
Hydrocephalus, costovertebral dysplasia, sprengel anomaly
Inheritance autosomal dominant with complete penetrance, but variable expressivity; 40% are de novo mutations; frequency is about 2/105 newborns


Note NBCS is an hamartoneoplastic syndrome; it is also a chromosome instability syndrome; hamartomas are localized tissue proliferations with faulty differenciation and mixture of component tissues; they are heritable malformations that have a potential towards neoplasia
Phenotype and clinics
  • multiple basal cell carcinomas, appearing as early as 15 yrs
  • jaw keratocysts
  • dyskeratotic palmar/plantar pits
  • skeletal malformations (of ribs, spina bifida occulta, ...)
  • soft tissue calcifications (falx cerebri, ovarian fibroma, diaphragma sellae, ...)
  • facial dysmorphia
  • Neoplastic risk
  • mainly multiple basal cell carcinomas; other proliferations (see below) in 60% of patients
  • other malignancies: medulloblastoma, ovarian fibrosarcoma
  • benign proliferations: ovarian fibroma, meningioma, rhabdomyoma, cardiac fibroma.
  • Treatment tumour exereses
    Evolution extensive number of basal cell carcinomas
    Prognosis according to the tumours (basal cell carcinomas are not life threatening, but may be devastating)


    Inborn conditions - spontaneous and induced chromosome instability
    - delay in the cell cycle
    - NBCS is therefore a chromosome instability syndrome
    Cytogenetics of cancer poorly documented

    Genes involved and Proteins

    Complementation groups none so far
    Gene NamePTCH
    Location in 9q22.3 (between FACC and XPAC !!)
    Description glycoprotein with transmembrane domains, extra cellular loops, and intracellular domains
    Localisation transmembrane protein
    Function part of a signalling pathway; probable cell to cell adhesion role; may have a repressive activity on cell proliferation; as NBCS syndrome is a chromosome instability syndrome, this protein may have a role in DNA maintenance, repair and/or replication
    Germinal most germ-line mutations in NBCS patients lead to protein truncation, which suggests that developmental anomalies seen in NBCS may be due to haplo-insufficiency; no obvious genotype-phenotype correlations
    Somatic mutation and allele loss events in basal cell carcinoma, in NBCS and in sporadic basal cell carcinoma are, so far, in accordance with the two-hit model for neoplasia, as is found in retinoblastoma.

    External links

    OrphanetGorlin syndrome
    Other databaseNORD: Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome
    AssociationBNCC Life Support Network


    Complications of the naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome: results of a population based study.
    Evans DG, Ladusans EJ, Rimmer S, Burnell LD, Thakker N, Farndon PA
    Journal of medical genetics. 1993 ; 30 (6) : 460-464.
    PMID 8326488
    Syndromes of the head and neck.
    Gorlin RJ, Cohen MM, Levin LS
    Oxford Monogr Med Genet. 1990 ; 19 : 372-380.
    Compartment boundaries and the control of Drosophila limb pattern by hedgehog protein.
    Basler K, Struhl G
    Nature. 1994 ; 368 (6468) : 208-214.
    PMID 8145818
    The Drosophila segment polarity gene patched interacts with decapentaplegic in wing development.
    Capdevila J, Estrada MP, Sˆ°nchez-Herrero E, Guerrero I
    The EMBO journal. 1994 ; 13 (1) : 71-82.
    PMID 8306973
    The role of the human homologue of Drosophila patched in sporadic basal cell carcinomas.
    Gailani MR, Stˆ€hle-Bˆ§ckdahl M, Leffell DJ, Glynn M, Zaphiropoulos PG, Pressman C, Undˆ©n AB, Dean M, Brash DE, Bale AE, Toftgˆ€rd R
    Nature genetics. 1996 ; 14 (1) : 78-81.
    PMID 8782823
    A mammalian patched homolog is expressed in target tissues of sonic hedgehog and maps to a region associated with developmental abnormalities.
    Hahn H, Christiansen J, Wicking C, Zaphiropoulos PG, Chidambaram A, Gerrard B, Vorechovsky I, Bale AE, Toftgard R, Dean M, Wainwright B
    The Journal of biological chemistry. 1996 ; 271 (21) : 12125-12128.
    PMID 8647801
    Mutations of the human homolog of Drosophila patched in the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.
    Hahn H, Wicking C, Zaphiropoulous PG, Gailani MR, Shanley S, Chidambaram A, Vorechovsky I, Holmberg E, Unden AB, Gillies S, Negus K, Smyth I, Pressman C, Leffell DJ, Gerrard B, Goldstein AM, Dean M, Toftgard R, Chenevix-Trench G, Wainwright B, Bale AE
    Cell. 1996 ; 85 (6) : 841-851.
    PMID 8681379
    Human homolog of patched, a candidate gene for the basal cell nevus syndrome.
    Johnson RL, Rothman AL, Xie J, Goodrich LV, Bare JW, Bonifas JM, Quinn AG, Myers RM, Cox DR, Epstein EH Jr, Scott MP
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 1996 ; 272 (5268) : 1668-1671.
    PMID 8658145
    The naevoid basal-cell carcinoma syndrome (Gorlin syndrome) is a chromosomal instability syndrome.
    Shafei-Benaissa E, Savage JR, Babin P, Larrˆ®gue M, Papworth D, Tanzer J, Bonnetblanc JM, Huret JL
    Mutation research. 1998 ; 397 (2) : 287-292.
    PMID 9541654
    The Drosophila hedgehog gene is expressed specifically in posterior compartment cells and is a target of engrailed regulation.
    Tabata T, Eaton S, Kornberg TB
    Genes & development. 1992 ; 6 (12B) : 2635-2645.
    PMID 1340474
    Most germ-line mutations in the nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome lead to a premature termination of the PATCHED protein, and no genotype-phenotype correlations are evident.
    Wicking C, Shanley S, Smyth I, Gillies S, Negus K, Graham S, Suthers G, Haites N, Edwards M, Wainwright B, Chenevix-Trench G
    American journal of human genetics. 1997 ; 60 (1) : 21-26.
    PMID 8981943
    REVIEW articlesautomatic search in PubMed
    Last year articlesautomatic search in PubMed


    Written09-1997Jean-loup Huret


    This paper should be referenced as such :
    Huret JL
    Naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCS);
    Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. September 1997
    Free journal version : [ pdf ]   [ DOI ]
    URL :

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