Microsatellite Instability and DNA Mismatch Repair Protein Deficiency in Lynch Syndrome Colorectal Polyps

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Cancer Prevention Research (Impact Factor: 4.44). 01/2012; 5(4):574-82. DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0519
Source: PubMed


Colorectal cancers associated with Lynch syndrome are characterized by deficient DNA mismatch repair (MMR) function. Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of microsatellite instability (MSI) and loss of MMR protein expression in Lynch syndrome-associated polyps. Sixty-two colorectal polyps--37 adenomatous polyps, 23 hyperplastic polyps, and 2 sessile serrated polyps (SSP)--from 34 subjects with germline MMR gene mutations were tested for MSI using a single pentaplex PCR for five mononucleotide repeat microsatellite markers, and also for expression of MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 proteins by immunohistochemistry. High-level MSI (MSI-H) was seen in 15 of 37 (41%) adenomatous polyps, one of 23 (4%) hyperplastic polyps, and one of two (50%) SSPs. Loss of MMR protein expression was seen in 18 of 36 (50%) adenomatous polyps, zero of 21 hyperplastic polyps, and zero of two SSPs. Adenomatous polyps 8 mm or larger in size were significantly more likely to show MSI-H [OR, 9.98; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.52-65.65; P = 0.02] and deficient MMR protein expression (OR, 3.17; 95% CI, 1.20-8.37; P = 0.02) compared with those less than 8 mm in size. All (six of six) adenomatous polyps 10 mm or larger in size showed both MSI-H and loss of MMR protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Our finding that the prevalence of MMR deficiency increases with the size of adenomatous polyps suggests that loss of MMR function is a late event in Lynch syndrome-associated colorectal neoplasia. Although testing large adenomatous polyps may be of value in the diagnostic evaluation of patients with suspected Lynch syndrome, the absence of an MMR-deficient phenotype in an adenoma cannot be considered as a strong evidence against Lynch syndrome, as it is with colorectal carcinomas.

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Available from: Mack T Ruffin IV, Mar 05, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Since the recognition of Lynch syndrome, which confers a high risk of colorectal, uterine, and other cancers, approaches to its diagnosis have included a family history of associated cancers and web-based algorithms. Identification of causative genes now allows a precise diagnosis, thus focusing present efforts on who should have genetic testing. Testing for cancer tissue changes can determine who should have germline genetic testing. Indeed, such tumor testing is now generally recommended for all newly diagnosed colorectal cancer cases. As reported in this issue of the journal by Yurgelun and colleagues (beginning on page 574), large colorectal adenomatous polyps (≥10 mm) from patients with Lynch syndrome exhibit findings similar to those in Lynch syndrome colorectal cancer tissues. This finding indicates that testing larger adenomas in persons at a significant risk for Lynch syndrome can now determine the need for germline genetic testing. Although further study is needed for general application, the present study justifies large polyp testing in high-risk families when cancer tissue is unavailable, albeit negative polyp tissue would not rule out Lynch syndrome, as would negative cancer tissue.
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    ABSTRACT: There are many ways in which a diagnosis of Lynch syndrome can be made, most prominent of which is family history, presence of cancer, high microsatellite instability, immunohistochemistry, and a mismatch repair germline mutation. There are at least four molecular pathways for colorectal cancer carcinogenesis: 1) adenoma-carcinoma sequence; 2) hereditary microsatellite instability; 3) serrated pathway; 4) epidermal growth factor receptor. The answer to diagnosing Lynch syndrome in the absence of colorectal cancer may be partially based upon the phenotypic characteristics of the colonic polyps should they be identified at colonoscopy, specifically their phenotypic characteristics of location, size, histology, number, and age of polyp onset.
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