The role of dermal fibroblasts in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome patients: An overview

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), also named Gorlin syndrome, is a rare multisystem genetic disorder characterized by marked predisposition to basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), childhood medulloblastomas, maxillary keratocysts, celebral calcifications, in addition to various skeletal and soft tissue developmental abnormalities. Mutations in the tumor suppressor gene PATCHED1 (PTCH1) have been found to be associated in the majority of NBCCS cases. PATCH1 somatic mutations and loss of heterozygosity are also very frequent in sporadic BCCs. Unlike non-syndromic patients, NBCCS patients develop multiple BCCs in sun-protected skin area starting from early adulthood. Recent studies suggest that dermo/epidermal interaction could be implicated in BCC predisposition. According to this idea, NBCCS fibroblasts, sharing with keratinocytes the same PTCH1 germline mutation and consequent constitutive activation of the Hh pathway, display features of carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAF). This phenotypic traits include the overexpression of growth factors, specific microRNAs profile, modification of extracellular matrix and basement membrane composition, increased cytokines and pro-angiogenic factors secretion, and a complex alteration of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Here, we review studies about the involvement of dermal fibroblasts in BCC predisposition of Gorlin syndrome patients. Further, we matched the emerged NBCCS fibroblast profile to those of CAF to compare the impact of cell autonomous “pre-activated state” due to PTCH1 mutations to those of skin tumor stroma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number720
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Gorlin syndrome
  • Hedgehog pathway
  • Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of dermal fibroblasts in nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome patients: An overview'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this