Genomic evolution of uveal melanoma arising in ocular melanocytosis

Michael A. Durante, Matthew G. Field, Margaret I. Sanchez, Kyle R. Covington, Christina L. Decatur, Sander R. Dubovy, J. William Harbour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ocular melanocytosis is the most important predisposing condition for the eye cancer uveal melanoma (UM). Here, we present a patient who developed UM arising within ocular melanocytosis who was treated with enucleation (eye removal), which provided an invaluable opportunity to interrogate both the UM and adjacent uveal tissue containing the melanocytosis using whole-exome and deep-targeted sequencing. This analysis revealed a clonal PLCB4 mutation in the melanocytosis, confirming that this is indeed a neoplastic condition and explaining why it predisposes to UM. This mutation was present in 100% of analyzed UM cells, indicating that a PLCB4-mutant cell gave rise to the UM. The earliest aberrations specific to the tumor were loss of Chromosomes 1p, 3, and 9p, which were present in virtually all tumor cells. A mutation in BAP1 arose later on the other copy of Chromosome 3 in a tumor subclone, followed by a gain of Chromosome 8q. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the well-known clinical association between ocular melanocytosis and UM by showing that this predisposing condition introduces the first “hit” and thereby increases the stochastic likelihood of acquiring further aberrations leading to UM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbera004051
JournalCold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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