GLI1 -Rearranged Enteric Tumor: Expanding the Spectrum of Gastrointestinal Neoplasms With GLI1 Gene Fusions

José Jessurun, Christine Orr, Samantha N. Mcnulty, Catherine E. Hagen, Hussein Alnajar, David Wilkes, Sarah Kudman, Majd Al Assaad, Princesca Dorsaint, Kentaro Ohara, Feng He, Kenrry Chu, Yong Mei Yin, Jenny Zhaoying Xiang, Lihui Qin, Andrea Sboner, Olivier Elemento, Rhonda K. Yantiss, Rondell P. Graham, Flora PoizatJuan Miguel Mosquera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GLI1 encodes a transcription factor that targets cell cycle regulators affecting stem cell proliferation. GLI1 gene fusions were initially described in pericytomas with a t[7;12] translocation and more recently in gastric plexiform fibromyxomas and gastroblastomas. This study describes the clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular features of three intestinal-based neoplasms harboring GLI1 gene fusions. We studied three unique mesenchymal small bowel tumors. Paraffin embedded tumor tissues from these cases and 62 additional tumor samples that included a plexiform fibromyxoma were sequenced using a targeted RNAseq method to detect fusion events. The study patients included two women and one man who were 52, 80, and 22 years of age at the time of diagnosis. The tumors involved the submucosa and muscularis propria of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. All 3 tumors contained a proliferation of monotonous oval or spindle cells with scattered, somewhat dilated vessels. Two cases showed epithelioid structures such as glands, tubules, or nests. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed cytokeratin expression in the epithelioid components of both tumors displaying these features, and variable numbers of mesenchymal cells. Diffuse CD56 positivity was seen in the mesenchymal component of 2 tumors and desmin and smooth muscle actin staining in the other tumor. Immunostains for S-100 protein, DOG-1, and CD117 were negative in all cases. GLI1 fusions with different partner genes were detected in all tumors, and in the plexiform fibromyxoma, used as a control. Validation by fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed. None of the tumors have recurred or metastasize after surgery. We describe novel GLI1 fusions in 3 mesenchymal neoplasms of the small intestine, including 2 with biphenotypic features. Thus far, all cases have pursued indolent clinical courses. We propose the term "GLI1-rearranged enteric tumor" to encompass this group of unique neoplasms of the small intestine that harbor GLI1 gene fusions and expand the spectrum of gastrointestinal neoplasms with these alterations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • GLI1 fusion
  • RNA sequencing
  • anchored multiplex PCR-based next-generation sequencing
  • biphenotypic tumors
  • enteroblastoma
  • gastroblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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