Genetic characteristics of aldosterone-producing adenomas in blacks

Kazutaka Nanba, Kei Omata, Celso E. Gomez-Sanchez, Constantine A. Stratakis, Andrew P. Demidowich, Mari Suzuki, Lester D.R. Thompson, Debbie L. Cohen, James M. Luther, Lan Gellert, Anand Vaidya, Justine A. Barletta, Tobias Else, Thomas J. Giordano, Scott A. Tomlins, William E. Rainey

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117 Citations (Scopus)


Somatic mutations have been identified in aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) in genes that include KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3, and CACNA1D. Based on independent studies, there appears to be racial differences in the prevalence of somatic KCNJ5 mutations, particularly between East Asians and Europeans. Despite the high cardiovascular disease mortality of blacks, there have been no studies focusing on somatic mutations in APAs in this population. In the present study, we investigated genetic characteristics of APAs in blacks using a CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) immunohistochemistry-guided next-generation sequencing approach. The adrenal glands with adrenocortical adenomas from 79 black patients with primary aldosteronism were studied. Seventy-three tumors from 69 adrenal glands were confirmed to be APAs by CYP11B2 immunohistochemistry. Sixty-five of 73 APAs (89%) had somatic mutations in aldosterone-driver genes. Somatic CACNA1D mutations were the most prevalent genetic alteration (42%), followed by KCNJ5 (34%), ATP1A1 (8%), and ATP2B3 mutations (4%). CACNA1D mutations were more often observed in APAs from males than those from females (55% versus 29%, P=0.033), whereas KCNJ5 mutations were more prevalent in APAs from females compared with those from males (57% versus 13%, P<0.001). No somatic mutations in aldosterone-driver genes were identified in tumors without CYP11B2 expression. In conclusion, 89% of APAs in blacks harbor aldosterone-driving mutations, and unlike Europeans and East Asians, the most frequently mutated aldosterone-driver gene was CACNA1D. Determination of racial differences in the prevalence of aldosterone-driver gene mutations may facilitate the development of personalized medicines for patients with primary aldosteronism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-892
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1


  • Adrenal glands
  • Adrenocortical adenoma
  • Aldosterone
  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Mutation


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