[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical predictors for germline mutations of candidate genes in large clinic based population of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) are widely awaited. Using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) analysis and DNA sequencing, 557 consecutively-collected CMM patients originating from South Italy were screened for CDKN2A germline mutations; subsets of them were screened for mutations in the BRAF and BRCA2 genes. Seven CDKN2A mutations were detected in 14 (2.5%) CMM patients. Relative risk of carrying a CDKN2A mutation for CMM patients was demonstrated to significantly increase with the presence of familial recurrence of melanoma (risk ratio (RR)=6.31; p=0.0009), multiple primary melanomas (RR=3.43; p=0.0014), and early onset age (RR=4.56; p=0.0026). All CDKN2A mutations were observed in non-Sardinian patients (14/441; 3.2%), whereas BRAF and BRCA2 genes were found mutated in Sardinian patients (3/116; 2.6%). Such indicators of the presence of CDKN2A mutations will be useful in counselling patients about undergoing genetic testing. Our findings strongly suggest that mutation rates of candidate cancer genes may deeply vary among CMM patients from different geographical areas.
European Journal of Cancer 02/2007; 43(1):137-43. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosome 10q25-q26 has been strongly correlated to endometrial tumorigenesis. A novel human gene, CASC2, has previously been identified at chromosome 10q26. One out of the three alternative transcripted forms, CASC2a, has been demonstrated to be mutated at a low frequency in endometrial cancer (EC). In this study, the role of the CASC2a gene in cancer has been further defined.
Tumour and corresponding normal tissues were analysed for CASC2a mRNA expression by real-time RT-PCR and mutation status by PCR-based approaches.
A significantly decreased level of CASC2a transcripts was observed in 13/17 (76%) EC tissues, as well as in 6/9 (67%) colorectal cancers. Exogenous expression of CASC2a in undifferentiated AN3CA endometrial cancer cells inhibited cellular growth in anchorage-independent growth assays. Finally, infrequent CASC2a mutations were able to impair the gene function.
Altogether, our findings strongly suggest that CASC2a may act as a tumour suppressor gene, with both epigenetic and genetic alterations concurring to gene inactivation. Down-regulation of CASC2a may provide a growth advantage in EC cells.
Anticancer research 01/2007; 27(1A):235-43. · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Factors predictive of carrying MLH1 and MSH2 germline mutations in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) are as yet unknown. The aim of this population-based study, was to further define the role of MLH1/MSH2 mutations through an evaluation clinic program with 362 consecutive Sardinian CRC patients. Eight MLH1/MSH2 germline mutations were detected in 21 (6%) patients. Examining family cancer history, MLH1/MSH2 mutations were found in 14/48 (29.2%) probands from CRC families and, among them, in 10/13 (76.9%) families fulfilling the Amsterdam criteria. The patients with low familial recurrence (two CRCs in the family) presented a much lower frequency of MLH1/MSH2 mutations (2/55; 3.6%). Significantly higher rates of MLH1/MSH2 mutations were found in patients with age of onset 45 years (P=0.012) or with 3 affected family members (P=0.009). While no significant predictive value was found for the presence of endometrial cancer within the family, earlier age of diagnosis and/or familial CRC recurrence should be considered as strong predictors for the occurrence of MLH1/MSH2 mutations, and therefore useful in recommending CRC patients for genetic testing.
European Journal of Cancer 06/2005; 41(7):1058-64. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allelic deletions, which are suggestive for the presence of tumor suppressor genes, represent a common event in endometrial cancer (EC). Previous loss-of-heterozygosity studies for human chromosome 10q identified a candidate deletion interval at 10q25-q26, which we further narrowed to a 160-kb region at 10q26, bounded by markers D10S1236 and WIAF3299. Using a positional candidate approach, we identified three alternative transcripts of a novel human gene, CASC2 (cancer susceptibility candidate 2; formely C10orf5). One of such transcripts, CASC2a, encodes a short protein of 102 amino acids with no similarity to any other known gene product. Three (7%) CASC2a mutations were identified in tumor DNA from 44 EC patients. While c.-156G>T and c.22C>T (p.Pro8Ser) are sequence variants with unknown functional significance, c.84delA is a mutation with a truncation effect on the predicted protein (p. Asn28fsX50). Expression studies by real-time RT-PCR on several normal and tumor cells revealed that CASC2a mRNA is downregulated in cancer, suggesting that it may act as a potential tumor suppressor gene. The very low mutation rate seems to also indicate that inactivation of CASC2a might probably be due to mechanisms different from genetic alterations.
Human Mutation 05/2004; 23(4):318-26. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ocogenic activation of the BRAF gene has been demonstrated to be involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma (MM). In this study, we investigated the contribution of BRAF to melanoma susceptibility, also making a comparison with frequency of CDKN2A germline mutations in MM patients from different areas in Italy.
sing a combination of denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography analysis and automated sequencing on genomic DNA from peripheral blood or tumor tissue samples, 569 MM patients (211 from northern Italy and 358 from southern Italy) were screened for BRAF mutations.
Three BRAF germline sequence variants (M116R, V599E, and G608H) were identified in four (0.7%) of 569 MM patients. The most common BRAF mutation, V599E, was detected in one germline DNA sample only; M116R and G608H were newly described mutations. A high frequency (59%) of BRAF mutations was instead observed in tumor samples from patients also undergoing germline DNA analysis; at the somatic level, substitution of valine 599 was found to account for the majority (88%) of BRAF mutations. We then estimated the germline mutation rates in BRAF and CDKN2A among 358 consecutively collected patient samples originating in southern Italy; a low (2.5%) or very low (0.29%) prevalence of CDKN2A and BRAF mutations, respectively, was detected.
utation analysis of either blood DNA from a large collection of MM patients or matched MM tissues from a subset of such patients revealed that BRAF is somatically mutated and does not play a major role in melanoma susceptibility. The present study further suggests that patient origin may account for different mutation rates in candidate genes.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2004; 22(2):286-92. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Putative tumour suppressor genes CDKN2A and CDKN2B (on chromosome 9p21) and CDKN2A-interacting cell growth regulatory genes CDK4 and Id-1 have been demonstrated to be involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma (MM). Mutation analysis of these candidate genes was performed in MM families from southern Italy with three or more affected members or two affected members and one or more relative with histologically diagnosed atypical naevus. Two CDKN2A mutations, Arg24Pro and 1-292 G>A, were observed in two (15%) families; except for CDKN2A and Id-1 polymorphisms, no sequence variations were detected in the remaining genes. Screening among 119 sporadic MM cases revealed two additional CDKN2A mutations at very low prevalences. Identification of a large shared haplotype at 9p21 in some MM families negative for CDKN germline mutations suggests that other CDKN-inactivating mechanisms may be responsible for MM predisposition or, alternatively, additional susceptibility gene(s) may be present on chromosome 9p21. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of a subset of MM tissue sections seemed to indicate that the D9S171 locus may be involved in MM pathogenesis.
Melanoma Research 12/2003; 13(6):571-9. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microsatellite instability (MSI) has been reported in endometrial carcinoma (EC) and in colorectal carcinoma (CRC), primarily as a result of defective DNA mismatch repair (MMR). The MMR gene hMLH1 commonly is inactivated in both EC and CRC. In the current study, epigenetic mechanisms involved in hMLH1 inactivation have been investigated to further elucidate the role of these mechanisms in the pathogenesis of EC and CRC.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based microsatellite analysis performed on paraffin-embedded tissues was used to select 42 sporadic carcinomas (21 ECs and 21 CRCs) with MSI. Immunohistochemistry (IHC), using the anti-hMLH1 antibody, and mutation analysis, using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and automated sequencing, were performed on unstable carcinoma samples. Methylation analysis, using modified protocols for bisulfite treatment and methylation-specific PCR (MSP), was performed on DNA from archival tissue samples.
No MSI-positive tumor samples with normal hMLH1 immunostaining (n = 7) exhibited hMLH1 promoter methylation, whereas 8 of 35 unstable cases with loss of hMLH1 expression (23%) exhibited MSP amplification. Among analyzed cases, germ-line mutations of hMLH1 were found in 4 of 20 unmethylated samples (20%) and in 0 of 8 methylated samples. Bisulfite sequencing of amplification products from methylated samples demonstrated that almost all CpG dinucleotides within the hMLH1 promoter elements underwent methylation.
Although an MMR gene other than hMLH1 may be responsible for genetic instability in MSI-positive/IHC-positive tumors, the presence of MSP amplification and allelic deletions within the hMLH1 locus in subsets of MSI-positive/IHC-negative cases strongly suggests that hMLH1 promoter methylation may contribute to the inactivation of both hMLH1 alleles. Bisulfite analysis suggests that the mechanisms of hMLH1 silencing may depend on CpG density rather than site-specific methylation. Cancer 2003;98:1540-6.
Cancer 11/2003; 98(7):1540-6. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Sardinian population is genetically homogeneous and could be useful in understanding better the genetics of a complex disease like breast cancer (BC).
Using a screening assay based on a combination of single-strand conformation polymorphism, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and sequence analysis, 47 Sardinian families with three or more BC cases were screened for germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Three BRCA1/2 germline sequence variants were identified. While BRCA2-Ile3412Val is a missense variant with unknown functional significance, BRCA2-8765delAG and BRCA1-Lys505ter are two deleterious mutations (due to their predicted effects on protein truncation), which were found in seven families (15%). BRCA2-8765delAG was found in six of eight (75%) BRCA1/2-positive families and seven of 501 (1.4%) unselected and consecutively collected BC patients. Prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations in BC families was significantly correlated with the total number of female BCs (P <0.01) and increased by the presence of (i) at least one case of ovarian or male BC, or (ii) three generations affected, or (iii) bilateral BC.
Identification of such features should address BC patients and their families to genetic counseling and BRCA1/2 mutational analysis. In addition, this is the first report of a detailed BRCA1/2 mutation screening in Sardinia, having immediate implications for the clinical management of BC families.
Annals of Oncology 01/2003; 13(12):1899-907. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microsatellite instability (MSI) is due mostly to a defective DNA mismatch repair (MMR). Inactivation of the two principal MMR genes, hMLH1 and hMSH2, and the PTEN tumor suppressor gene seems to be involved in endometrial tumorigenesis. In this study, Sardinian patients with endometrial carcinoma (EC) were analyzed to assess the prevalence of both the mutator phenotype (as defined by the presence of MSI and abnormal MMR gene expression at the somatic level) and the hMLH1, hMSH2, and PTEN germline mutations among patients with MSI positive EC.
Paraffin embedded tissue samples from 116 consecutive patients with EC were screened for MSI by polymerase chain reaction-based microsatellite analysis. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) with anti-hMLH1 and anti-hMSH2 antibodies was performed on MSI positive tumor tissue sections. Germline DNA was used for mutational screening by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography analysis and automated sequencing.
Thirty-nine patients with EC (34%) exhibited MSI; among them, 25 tumor samples (64%) showed negative immunostaining for hMLH1/hMSH2 proteins (referred to as IHC negative). No disease-causing mutation within the coding sequences of the hMLH1/hMSH2 and PTEN genes was found in patients with EC who had the mutator phenotype (MSI positive and IHC negative), except for a newly described hMLH1 missense mutation, Ile655Val, that was observed in 1 of 27 patients (4%). Although MSI was more common among patients with advanced-stage EC and increased as the tumor grade increased, no significant correlation with disease free survival or overall survival was observed among the two groups (MSI positive or MSI negative) of patients with EC.
In patients with MSI positive EC, epigenetic inactivations rather than genetic mutations of the MMR genes seem to be involved in endometrial tumorigenesis. No prognostic value was demonstrated for MSI in patients with EC.
Cancer 07/2002; 94(12):3157-68. · 5.20 Impact Factor