ABSTRACT: It is well documented that germline mutations in the E-cadherin (CDH1) gene are linked to hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). Despite the known molecular genetic causes, most gastric cancers are sporadic and poorly investigated for susceptibility genes. We report the finding of a novel germline missense mutation in exon 6, c. 820 G > A (p.G274S) in one sporadic gastric cancer patient. This new variant does not affect cryptic splicing of CDH1 as demonstrated by molecular assay. Immunohistochemical analysis shows a mixed pattern of E-cadherin staining (membranous and cytoplasmic) in the intestinal component, while in the diffuse counterpart, the membranous staining was prevalent and a reduced membranous expression of ß-catenin was observed. In vitro assays suggest that the mutant G274S does not affect the E-cadherin protein function, its expression pattern or subcellular localization. This new variant is present in EC2 extracellular domain of the protein (p.G120S in mature protein). The molecular modelling shows that this point mutation is not dramatic for local structure. However, p.S120 is located on the surface of the protein close to the functional calcium sites and in the region of interaction with EC1 domain of another E-cadherin molecule involved in the formation of the intercellular junction. Moreover, p.S120 residue could be involved in posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation or glycosylation, with possible effects on stability and integrity of adhesive properties of E-cadherin. In conclusion, the pathogenicity of this mutation is unlikely; nevertheless, it is possible that the mutation hampers the interaction with other proteins, and consequent signalling pathways, contributing to tumour development.
Clinical and Experimental Medicine 04/2012; · 1.58 Impact Factor