The predicted truncation from a cancer-associated variant of the MSH2 initiation codon alters activity of the MSH2-MSH6 mismatch repair complex.
ABSTRACT Lynch syndrome (LS) is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. MMR recognizes and repairs DNA mismatches and small insertion/deletion loops. Carriers of MMR gene variants have a high risk of developing colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, and other extracolonic carcinomas. We report on an ovarian cancer patient who carries a germline MSH2 c.1A>C variant which alters the translation initiation codon. Mutations affecting the MSH2 start codon have been described previously for LS-related malignancies. However, the patients often lack a clear family history indicative of LS and their tumors often fail to display microsatellite instability, a hallmark feature of LS. Therefore, the pathogenicity of start codon variants remains undefined. Loss of the MSH2 start codon has been predicted to result in a truncated protein translated from a downstream in-frame AUG that would lack the first 25 amino acids. We therefore purified recombinant MSH2(NΔ25)-MSH6 and MSH2(NΔ25)-MSH3 to examine their DNA lesion recognition and adenosine nucleotide processing functions in vitro. We found that the MSH2(NΔ25) mutant confers distinct biochemical defects on MSH2-MSH6, but does not have a significant effect on MSH2-MSH3. We confirmed that expression of the MSH2 c.1A>C cDNA results in the production of multiple protein products in human cells that may include the truncated and full-length forms of MSH2. An in vivo MMR assay revealed a slight reduction in MMR efficiency in these cells. These data suggest that mutation of the MSH2 initiation codon, while not a strong, high-risk disease allele, may have a moderate impact on disease phenotype.
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ABSTRACT: Variants that disrupt the translation initiation sequences in cancer predisposition genes are generally assumed to be deleterious. However, few studies have validated these assumptions with functional and clinical data. Two cancer syndrome gene variants likely to affect native translation initiation were identified by clinical genetic testing: MLH1:c.1A>G p.(Met1?) and BRCA2:c.67+3A>G. In vitro GFP-reporter assays were conducted to assess the consequences of translation initiation disruption on alternative downstream initiation codon usage. Analysis of MLH1:c.1A>G p.(Met1?) showed that translation was mostly initiated at an in-frame position 103 nucleotides downstream, but also at two ATG sequences downstream. The protein product encoded by the in-frame transcript initiating from position c.103 showed loss of in vitro mismatch repair activity comparable to known pathogenic mutations. BRCA2:c.67+3A>G was shown by mRNA analysis to result in an aberrantly spliced transcript deleting exon 2 and the consensus ATG site. In the absence of exon 2, translation initiated mostly at an out-of-frame ATG 323 nucleotides downstream, and to a lesser extent at an in-frame ATG 370 nucleotides downstream. Initiation from any of the downstream alternative sites tested in both genes would lead to loss of protein function, but further clinical data is required to confirm if these variants are associated with a high cancer risk. Importantly, our results highlight the need for caution in interpreting the functional and clinical consequences of variation that leads to disruption of the initiation codon, since translation may not necessarily occur from the first downstream alternative start site, or from a single alternative start site. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Molecular Carcinogenesis 11/2013; · 4.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a double-stranded DNA virus that replicates in the nucleus of its human host cell and is known to interact with many cellular DNA repair proteins. In this study, we examined the role of cellular mismatch repair (MMR) proteins in the virus life cycle. Both MSH2 and MLH1 are required for efficient replication of HSV-1 in normal human cells and are localized to viral replication compartments. In addition, a previously reported interaction between MSH6 and ICP8 was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and extended to show that UL12 is also present in this complex. We also report for the first time that MLH1 associates with ND10 nuclear bodies and that like other ND10 proteins, MLH1 is recruited to the incoming genome. Knockdown of MLH1 inhibits immediate-early viral gene expression. MSH2, on the other hand, which is generally thought to play a role in mismatch repair at a step prior to that of MLH1, is not recruited to incoming genomes and appears to act at a later step in the viral life cycle. Silencing of MSH2 appears to inhibit early gene expression. Thus, both MLH1 and MSH2 are required but appear to participate in distinct events in the virus life cycle. The observation that MLH1 plays an earlier role in HSV-1 infection than does MSH2 is surprising and may indicate a novel function for MLH1 distinct from its known MSH2-dependent role in mismatch repair.Journal of Virology 09/2011; 85(23):12241-53. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Lynch syndrome (LS) is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes and is the most prevalent hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. A significant proportion of variants identified in MMR and other common cancer susceptibility genes are missense or noncoding changes whose consequences for pathogenicity cannot be easily interpreted. Such variants are designated as "variants of uncertain significance" (VUS). Management of LS can be significantly improved by identifying individuals who carry a pathogenic variant and thus benefit from screening, preventive, and therapeutic measures. Also, identifying family members that do not carry the variant is important so they can be released from the intensive surveillance. Determining which genetic variants are pathogenic and which are neutral is a major challenge in clinical genetics. The profound mechanistic knowledge on the genetics and biochemistry of MMR enables the development and use of targeted assays to evaluate the pathogenicity of variants found in suspected patients with LS. We describe different approaches for the functional analysis of MMR gene VUS and propose development of a validated diagnostic framework. Furthermore, we call attention to common misconceptions about functional assays and endorse development of an integrated approach comprising validated assays for diagnosis of VUS in patients suspected of LS.Human Mutation 07/2012; · 5.21 Impact Factor