The contribution of recently established or candidate susceptibility genes to melanoma missing heritability has yet to be determined. Multigene panel testing could increase diagnostic yield and better define the role of candidate genes. We characterized 273 CDKN2A/ARF and CDK4- negative probands through a custom-designed targeted gene panel that included CDKN2A/ARF, CDK4, ACD, BAP1, MITF, POT1, TERF2IP, ATM, and PALB2. Co-segregation, loss of heterozygosity (LOH)/protein expression analysis, and splicing characterization were performed to improve variant classification. We identified 16 (5.9%) pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants in established high/medium penetrance cutaneous melanoma susceptibility genes (BAP1, POT1, ACD, MITF, and TERF2IP), including two novel variants in BAP1 and 4 in POT1. We also found four deleterious and five likely deleterious variants in ATM (3.3%). Thus, including potentially deleterious variants in ATM increased the diagnostic yield to about 9%. Inclusion of rare variants of uncertain significance would increase the overall detection yield to 14%. At least 10% of melanoma missing heritability may be explained through panel testing in our population. To our knowledge, this is the highest frequency of putative ATM deleterious variants reported in melanoma families, suggesting a possible role in melanoma susceptibility, which needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1007
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • ATM
  • BAP1
  • CDKN2A
  • Familial melanoma
  • Gene panel sequencing
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • High-penetrance genes
  • Missing heritability
  • POT1
  • Variant interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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