Germline CHEK2 mutations and colorectal cancer risk: different effects of a missense and truncating mutations?
ABSTRACT Germline mutations in cell cycle checkpoint kinase 2 (CHEK2) have been associated with a range of cancer types, in particular of the breast and prostate. Protein-truncating mutations in CHEK2 have been reported to confer higher risks of cancer of the breast and the prostate than the missense I157T variant. In order to estimate the risks of colorectal cancer associated with truncating and missense CHEK2 mutations, we genotyped 1085 unselected colorectal cancer cases and 5496 controls for four CHEK2 founder mutations present in Poland. We observed an increased risk of colorectal cancer in association with the missense I157T mutation (odds ratios (OR) = 1.5; 95% CI 1.2-2.0; P = 0.002) but not with truncating mutations (OR = 1.0; 95% CI 0.5-1.8; P = 0.9); however the difference in the two OR was not statistically significant (P = 0.2). We conclude that the I157T mutation increases the risk of colorectal cancer in the population, but that truncating mutations may confer a lower risk or no increase in risk. It is important that other studies of CHEK2 mutation carriers be conducted to confirm this hypothesis.