Introduction: Loss-of-function mutations in EED and SUZ12, core components of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), occur in >90% of sporadic and radiation-associated malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) and in roughly 70% of NF1-related tumors. PRC2 inactivation results in loss of H3K27me3 expression and aberrant downstream transcription. H3K27me3 expression is lost in 40–90% of spindle cell MPNST but is not specific. A single study has suggested that dimethylated H3K27 (H3K27me2) is a more specific marker of MPNST. Methods: We compared the expression of H3K27me3 and H3K27me2 by immunohistochemistry in a series of MPNST (n = 26), neurofibroma (n = 11), conventional dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (n = 8), fibrosarcomatous dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (n = 7), spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma (n = 6), high-risk solitary fibrous tumor (n = 9), dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma (n = 7), synovial sarcoma (n = 9), diffuse midline glioma, H3K27-altered (n = 13), conventional diffuse astrocytoma (n = 2), conventional cutaneous melanoma (n = 8), uveal melanoma (n = 8), cellular blue nevus (n = 17) and melanoma arising in blue nevus (n = 6). Results: H3K27me3 and H3K27me2 expression patterns were concordant in 115/137 (84%) with 85 cases (62%) expressing both markers and 30 cases (22%) showing loss of both. Discordant results were seen in 22 cases (H3K27me3 loss with retained H3K27me2, 10 cases (7%); H3K27me3 expression with H3K27me2 loss, 12 cases (9%)). H3K27me2 loss was not specific for MPNST and was also seen in certain other tumors, in particular those in the “blue nevus family”. Conclusion: We conclude that H3K27me2 loss is not specific for MPNST, and like H3K27me3, should be used in the appropriate clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic context. Loss of H3K27me2 with retained H3K27me3 is a common feature of “blue nevus family” melanocytic tumors known to harbor GNAQ/GNA11 mutations.
- Cutaneous melanoma
- Diffuse midline glioma
- Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
- Uveal melanoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine