Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Mutator phenotypes in human colorectal carcinoma cell lines.

PMID 8022779


Recent studies have revealed that tumors in patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer are associated with high-frequency alterations of microsatellite sequences. To investigate the mechanisms and consequences of this form of genetic instability, we identified three colorectal carcinoma cell lines that express dinucleotide-repeat instability like that found in hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer tumors and show increased rates of spontaneous mutation at selectable loci. However, the pattern of hypermutation in these cell lines differed significantly. In one line (HCT116), microsatellite mutations occurred at a remarkably high rate (approximately 10(-2) mutations per cell per generation), whereas this rate was considerably lower in the two other lines (DLD-1 and HCT15). The rate of mutation at the locus encoding hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase was substantially elevated (200- to 600-fold) in all three tumor cell lines, yet the types of mutations arising differed. A specific frame-shift hotspot accounted for 24% of hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase mutations in HCT116. The frequency of mutations at this site was reduced significantly in DLD-1 and HCT15 lines. These data suggest that the mutatw phenotypes in the colorectal carcinoma cell lines could be the consequence of mutator genes affecting different repair or error-avoidance pathways.

Related Materials