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Gastroenterology

Heterozygous mutations in PMS2 cause hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (Lynch syndrome).


PMID 16472587

Abstract

The role of the mismatch repair gene PMS2 in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) is not fully clarified. To date, only 7 different heterozygous truncating PMS2 mutations have been reported in HNPCC-suspected families. Our aim was to further assess the role of PMS2 in HNPCC. We performed Southern blot analysis in 112 patients from MLH1-, MSH2-, and MSH6-negative HNPCC-like families. A subgroup (n = 38) of these patients was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). In a second study group consisting of 775 index patients with familial colorectal cancer, we performed immunohistochemistry using antibodies against MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 proteins. In 8 of 775 tumors, only loss of PMS2 expression was found. In these cases, we performed Southern blot analysis and DGGE. Segregation analysis was performed in the families with a (possibly) deleterious mutation. Seven novel mutations were identified: 4 genomic rearrangements and 3 truncating point mutations. Three of these 7 families fulfill the Amsterdam II criteria. The pattern of inheritance is autosomal dominant with a milder phenotype compared with families with pathogenic MLH1 or MSH2 mutations. Microsatellite instability and immunohistochemical analysis performed in HNPCC-related tumors from proven carriers showed a microsatellite instability high phenotype and loss of PMS2 protein expression in all tumors. We show that heterozygous truncating mutations in PMS2 do play a role in a small subset of HNPCC-like families. PMS2 mutation analysis is indicated in patients diagnosed with a colorectal tumor with absent staining for the PMS2 protein.