[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heritable genetic variants can significantly affect the life-time risk of developing cancer, including polyposis and colorectal cancer (CRC). Variants in genes currently known to be associated with a high risk for polyposis or CRC, however, explain only a limited number of hereditary cases. The identification of additional genetic causes is, therefore, crucial to improve CRC prevention, detection and treatment. We have performed genome-wide and targeted DNA copy number profiling and resequencing in early-onset and familial polyposis/CRC patients, and show that deletions affecting the open reading frame of the tumour suppressor gene FOCAD are recurrent and significantly enriched in CRC patients compared to unaffected controls. All patients carrying FOCAD deletions exhibited a personal or family history of polyposis. RNA in-situ hybridization revealed FOCAD expression in epithelial cells in the colonic crypt, the site of tumour initiation, as well as in colonic tumours and organoids. Our data suggest that monoallelic germline deletions in the tumour suppressor gene FOCAD underlie moderate genetic predisposition to the development of polyposis and CRC.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary factors are involved in the development of a substantial proportion of all cases of colorectal cancer. Inherited forms of colorectal cancer are usually subdivided into polyposis syndromes characterized by the development of multiple colorectal polyps and nonpolyposis syndromes characterized by the development of few or no polyps. Timely identification of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes is vital because patient participation in early detection programmes prevents premature death due to cancer. Polyposis syndromes are fairly easy to recognize, but some patients might have characteristics that overlap with other clinically defined syndromes. Comprehensive analysis of the genes known to be associated with polyposis syndromes helps to establish the final diagnosis in these patients. Recognizing Lynch syndrome is more difficult than other polyposis syndromes owing to the absence of pathognomonic features. Most investigators therefore recommend performing systematic molecular analysis of all newly diagnosed colorectal cancer using immunohistochemical methods. The implementation in clinical practice of new high-throughput methods for molecular analysis might further increase the identification of individuals at risk of hereditary colorectal cancer. This Review describes the clinical management of the various hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes and demonstrates the advantage of using a classification based on the underlying gene defects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Current risk stratification in endometrial cancer (EC) results in frequent over-and underuse of adjuvant therapy, and may be improved by novel biomarkers. We examined whether POLE proofreading mutations, recently reported in about 7% of ECs, predict prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have reported associations between multiple cancer types and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 5p15, which harbours TERT and CLPTM1L, but no such association has been reported with endometrial cancer. To evaluate the role of genetic variants at the TERT-CLPTM1L region in endometrial cancer risk, we carried out comprehensive fine-mapping analyses of genotyped and imputed SNPs using a custom Illumina iSelect array which includes dense SNP coverage of this region. We examined 396 SNPs (113 genotyped, 283 imputed) in 4,401 endometrial cancer cases and 28,758 controls. Single-SNP and forward/backward logistic regression models suggested evidence for three variants independently associated with endometrial cancer risk (P = 4.9 × 10(-6) to P = 7.7 × 10(-5)). Only one falls into a haplotype previously associated with other cancer types (rs7705526, in TERT intron 1), and this SNP has been shown to alter TERT promoter activity. One of the novel associations (rs13174814) maps to a second region in the TERT promoter and the other (rs62329728) is in the promoter region of CLPTM1L; neither are correlated with previously reported cancer-associated SNPs. Using TCGA RNASeq data, we found significantly increased expression of both TERT and CLPTM1L in endometrial cancer tissue compared with normal tissue (TERT P = 1.5 × 10(-18), CLPTM1L P = 1.5 × 10(-19)). Our study thus reports a novel endometrial cancer risk locus and expands the spectrum of cancer types associated with genetic variation at 5p15, further highlighting the importance of this region for cancer susceptibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome (HMPS) is characterized by the development of mixed-morphology colorectal tumors and is caused by a 40-kb genetic duplication that results in aberrant epithelial expression of the gene encoding mesenchymal bone morphogenetic protein antagonist, GREM1. Here we use HMPS tissue and a mouse model of the disease to show that epithelial GREM1 disrupts homeostatic intestinal morphogen gradients, altering cell fate that is normally determined by position along the vertical epithelial axis. This promotes the persistence and/or reacquisition of stem cell properties in Lgr5-negative progenitor cells that have exited the stem cell niche. These cells form ectopic crypts, proliferate, accumulate somatic mutations and can initiate intestinal neoplasia, indicating that the crypt base stem cell is not the sole cell of origin of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, we show that epithelial expression of GREM1 also occurs in traditional serrated adenomas, sporadic premalignant lesions with a hitherto unknown pathogenesis, and these lesions can be considered the sporadic equivalents of HMPS polyps.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whilst most of the pertinent data on the sequence-directed processes leading to genome rearrangements (GRs) have come from studies on somatic tissues, little is known about GRs in the germ line of patients with hereditary disorders. This study aims at identifying DNA motifs and higher-order structures of genome architecture, which can result in losses and gains of genetic material in the germ line. We first identified candidate motifs by studying 112 pathogenic germ-line genome rearrangements in hereditary colorectal cancer patients, and subsequently created an algorithm, termed recombination type ratio, which correctly predicts the propensity of rearrangements with respect to homologous versus non-homologous recombination events
Human Mutation 11/2014; 36(2). · 5.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Common variants in the hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 homeobox B (HNF1B) gene are associated with the risk of type II diabetes and multiple cancers. Evidence to date indicates that cancer risk may be mediated via genetic or epigenetic effects on HNF1B gene expression. We previously found single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the HNF1B locus to be associated with endometrial cancer, and now report extensive fine-mapping and in silico and laboratory analyses of this locus. Analysis of 1,184 genotyped and imputed SNPs in 6,608 Caucasian cases and 37,925 controls, and 895 Asian cases and 1,968 controls, revealed the best signal of association for SNP rs11263763 (P=8.4×10(-14), OR=0.86, 95% CI=0.82-0.89), located within HNF1B intron 1. Haplotype analysis and conditional analyses provide no evidence of further independent endometrial cancer risk variants at this locus. SNP rs11263763 genotype was associated with HNF1B mRNA expression but not with HNF1B methylation in endometrial tumour samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Genetic analyses prioritized rs11263763 and four other SNPs in high to moderate LD as the most likely causal SNPs. Three of these SNPs map to the extended HNF1B promoter based on chromatin marks extending from the minimal promoter region. Reporter assays demonstrated that this extended region reduces activity in combination with the minimal HNF1B promoter, and that the minor alleles of rs11263763 or rs8064454 are associated with decreased HNF1B promoter activity. Our findings provide evidence for a single signal associated with endometrial cancer risk at the HNF1B locus, and that risk is likely mediated via altered HNF1B gene expression.
Human Molecular Genetics 11/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor