[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bloom syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by chromosomal instability and increased cancer risk, caused by biallelic mutations in the RECQL-helicase gene BLM. Previous studies have led to conflicting conclusions as to whether carriers of heterozygous BLM mutations have an increased risk to develop colorectal cancer (CRC). We recently identified two carriers of a pathogenic BLM mutation in a cohort of 55 early-onset CRC patients (≤45 years of age), suggesting an overrepresentation compared to the normal population. Here, we performed targeted sequencing using molecular inversion probes to screen an additional cohort of 185 CRC patients (≤50 years of age) and 532 population-matched controls for deleterious BLM mutations. In total, we identified three additional CRC patients (1.6%) and one control individual (0.2%) that carried a known pathogenic BLM mutation, suggesting that these mutations are enriched in early-onset CRC patients (P = 0.05516). A comparison with local and publically available databases from individuals without suspicion for hereditary cancer confirmed this enrichment (P = 0.003534). Analysis of family members of the five BLM mutation carriers with CRC suggests an incomplete penetrance for CRC development. Therefore, these data indicate that carriers of deleterious BLM mutations are at increased risk to develop CRC, albeit with a moderate-to-low penetrance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germline CDH1 mutations confer a high lifetime risk of developing diffuse gastric (DGC) and lobular breast cancer (LBC). A multidisciplinary workshop was organised to discuss genetic testing, surgery, surveillance strategies, pathology reporting and the patient's perspective on multiple aspects, including diet post gastrectomy. The updated guidelines include revised CDH1 testing criteria (taking into account first-degree and second-degree relatives): (1) families with two or more patients with gastric cancer at any age, one confirmed DGC; (2) individuals with DGC before the age of 40 and (3) families with diagnoses of both DGC and LBC (one diagnosis before the age of 50). Additionally, CDH1 testing could be considered in patients with bilateral or familial LBC before the age of 50, patients with DGC and cleft lip/palate, and those with precursor lesions for signet ring cell carcinoma. Given the high mortality associated with invasive disease, prophylactic total gastrectomy at a centre of expertise is advised for individuals with pathogenic CDH1 mutations. Breast cancer surveillance with annual breast MRI starting at age 30 for women with a CDH1 mutation is recommended. Standardised endoscopic surveillance in experienced centres is recommended for those opting not to have gastrectomy at the current time, those with CDH1 variants of uncertain significance and those that fulfil hereditary DGC criteria without germline CDH1 mutations. Expert histopathological confirmation of (early) signet ring cell carcinoma is recommended. The impact of gastrectomy and mastectomy should not be underestimated; these can have severe consequences on a psychological, physiological and metabolic level. Nutritional problems should be carefully monitored.
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Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Medical Genetics
[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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No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · The Journal of Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) knock-out mouse model provided evidence that the gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) and its neural circuitry operate as a negative feedback-loop regulating fear, suggesting a novel candidate mechanism contributing to individual differences in fear-conditioning and associated psychiatric disorders such as agoraphobia with/without panic disorder. Studies in humans, however, provided inconclusive evidence on the association of GRP and GRPR variations in agoraphobia with/without panic disorder. Based on these findings, we investigated whether GRP and GRPR variants are associated with agoraphobia. Mental disorders were assessed via the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI) in 95 patients with agoraphobia with/without panic disorder and 119 controls without any mental disorders. A complete sequence analysis of GRP and GRPR was performed in all participants. We found no association of 16 GRP and 7 GRPR variants with agoraphobia with/without panic disorder.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Psychiatric Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancer worldwide. However, a large number of genetic risk factors involved in CRC have not been understood. Copy number variations (CNVs) might partly contribute to the 'missing heritability' of CRC. An increased overall burden of CNV has been identified in several complex diseases, whereas the association between the overall CNV burden and CRC risk is largely unknown. We performed a genome-wide investigation of CNVs on genomic DNA from 384 familial CRC cases and 1,285 healthy controls by the Affymetrix 6.0 array. An increase of overall CNV burden was observed in familial CRC patients compared to healthy controls, especially for CNVs larger than 50 kb (case/control ratio = 1.66, P = 0.025). In addition, we discovered for the first time a novel structural variation at 12p12.3 and determined the breakpoints by strategic PCR and sequencing. This 12p12.3 structural variation was found in four of 2,862 CRC cases, but not in 6,243 healthy controls (P = 0.0098). RERGL gene (RERG/RAS-like), the only gene influenced by the 12p12.3 structural variation, sharing most of the conserved regions with its close family member RERG tumor suppressor gene (RAS-like, estrogen-regulated, growth inhibitor), might be a novel CRC related gene. In conclusion, this is the first study to reveal the contribution of the overall burden of CNVs to familial CRC risk, and identified a novel rare structural variation at 12p12.3 containing RERGL gene to be associated with CRC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spindle assembly checkpoint controls proper chromosome segregation during mitosis and prevents aneuploidy-an important feature of cancer cells. We performed genome-wide and targeted copy number and mutation analyses of germline DNA from 208 patients with familial or early-onset (≤40) colorectal cancer (CRC); we identified haploinsufficiency or heterozygous mutations in the spindle assembly checkpoint genes BUB1 and BUB3 in 2.9% of them. Besides CRC, these patients had variegated aneuploidies in multiple tissues and variable dysmorphic features. These results indicate that mutations in BUB1 and BUB3 cause mosaic variegated aneuploidy and increase the risk of CRC at young age.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer HNPCC, Lynch syndrome) is a genetic disease of autosomal dominant inheritance. It is caused by a mutation in one of four genes of the DNA mismatch repair system and confers a markedly increased risk for various types of cancer, particularly of the colon and the endometrium. Its prevalence in the general population is about 1 in 500, and it causes about 2% to 3% of all colorectal cancers. Lynch syndrome is diagnosed in two steps: If it is suspected (because a patient develops cancer at an unusually young age or because of familial clustering), the tumor tissue is analyzed for evidence of deficient mismatch repair (microsatellite instability, loss of mismatch repair protein expression). If such evidence is found, a genetic mutation is sought. The identification of a pathogenic mutation confirms the diagnosis in the patient and enables predictive testing of other family members. Diagnostic evaluations for Lynch syndrome should be carried out with appropriate genetic counseling.
Selective literature review.
Prospective cohort studies from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands have shown that colorectal cancers detected by systematic colonoscopic surveillance tend to be at an earlier stage than those that are discovered after the patients present with symptoms. The Finnish study also showed an overall reduction in cancer risk from colonoscopic polypectomy at regular intervals.
The studies conducted so far have not yet clearly documented the putative benefit of an individualized, risk-adapted surveillance strategy. Until this is done, patients with Lynch syndrome and healthy carriers of causative mutations should be monitored with annual colonoscopy and (for women) annual gynecological examination.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Deutsches Ärzteblatt International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOCS) and Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer Syndrome (HNPCC, Lynch Syndrome) are two tumor predisposition syndromes responsible for the majority of hereditary breast and colorectal cancers. Carriers of both germline mutations in breast cancer genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 and in mismatch repair (MMR) genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2 are very rare.
We identified germline mutations in BRCA1 and in MSH6 in a patient with increased risk for HBOC diagnosed with endometrial cancer at the age of 46 years.
Although carriers of mutations in both MMR and BRCA genes are rare in Caucasian populations and anamnestical and histopathological findings may guide clinicians to identify these families, both syndromes can only be diagnosed through a complete gene analysis of the respective genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSEPatients with Lynch syndrome are at high risk for colon and endometrial cancer, but also at an elevated risk for other less common cancers. The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to provide risk estimates for these less common cancers in proven carriers of pathogenic mutations in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes MLH1, MSH2, and MSH6. PATIENTS AND METHODS
Data were pooled from the German and Dutch national Lynch syndrome registries. Seven different cancer types were analyzed: stomach, small bowel, urinary bladder, other urothelial, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer. Age-, sex- and MMR gene-specific cumulative risks (CRs) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Sex-specific incidence rates were compared with general population incidence rates by calculating standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). Multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to estimate the impact of sex and mutated gene on cancer risk.ResultsThe cohort comprised 2,118 MMR gene mutation carriers (MLH1, n = 806; MSH2, n = 1,004; MSH6, n = 308). All cancers were significantly more frequent than in the general population. The highest risks were found for male small bowel cancer (SIR, 251; 95% CI, 177 to 346; CR at 70 years, 12.0; 95% CI, 5.7 to 18.2). Breast cancer showed an SIR of 1.9 (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.4) and a CR of 14.4 (95% CI, 9.5 to 19.3). MSH2 mutation carriers had a considerably higher risk of developing urothelial cancer than MLH1 or MSH6 carriers. CONCLUSION
The sex- and gene-specific differences of less common cancer risks should be taken into account in cancer surveillance and prevention programs for patients with Lynch syndrome.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A comprehensive understanding of the development and maintenance of fear-related disorders such as agoraphobia should take genetic mechanisms into account, which impact on the neural circuitry involved in fear conditioning.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Psychiatric genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the mismatch repair genes cause Lynch syndrome (LS), conferring high risk of colorectal, endometrial and some other cancers. After the same splice site mutation in the MLH1 gene (c.589-2A>G) had been observed in four ostensibly unrelated American families with typical LS cancers, its occurrence in comprehensive series of LS cases (Mayo Clinic, Germany and Italy) was determined. It occurred in 10 out of 995 LS mutation carriers (1.0%) diagnosed in the Mayo Clinic diagnostic laboratory. It did not occur among 1,803 cases tested for MLH1 mutations by the German HNPCC consortium, while it occurred in three probands and an additional five family members diagnosed in Italy. In the U.S., the splice site mutation occurs on a large (∼4.8 Mb) shared haplotype that also harbors the variant c.2146G>A, which predicts a missense change in codon 716 referred to here as V716M. In Italy, it occurs on a different, shorter shared haplotype (∼2.2 Mb) that does not carry V716M. The V716M variant was found to be present by itself in the U.S., German and Italian populations with individuals sharing a common haplotype of 280 kb, allowing us to calculate that the variant arose around 5,600 years ago (225 generations; 95% confidence interval 183-272). The splice site mutation in America arose or was introduced some 450 years ago (18 generations; 95% confidence interval 14-23); it accounts for 1.0% all LS in the Unites States and can be readily screened for.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · International Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High level of microsatellite instability (MSI-H) in colorectal cancer (CRC) is caused by the inactivation of mismatch repair (MMR) genes; however, it is unknown for tumors with low level MSI (MSI-L). The protein complex involving MSH3 preferentially recognizes insertion/deletion loops (IDLs) of two to eight bases and di- and tetranucleotide repeats are affected in the majority of MSI-L CRC.
We selected 10 and eight MSI-L CRCs from 228 and 204 patients with sporadic and hereditary disease, respectively. The tumors were analyzed for protein expression of MSH3, MSH2, MSH6, MLH1, and PMS2, and for mutations and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in MSH3.
Four tumors showed a markedly reduced MSH3 expression, whereas all 18 tumors had normal expression of the remaining MMR proteins. Twenty-five different sequence variants were identified. None of these results in a truncated protein, though L902W represents the first constitutional missense mutation in MSH3 predicted to be functional based on conservation among mutS homologues. All variants have also been found in normal DNA of the patients and in controls. LOH intragenic to MSH3 was evident for 12 of 16 (75%) informative tumors.
Occurrence of sequence variants in normal DNA of the patients and in controls excludes somatic mutations and mutations specific to the CRC patient population, respectively. In contrast, the high frequency of LOH as well as the aberrant protein expression in some tumors indicates an involvement of MSH3 impairment in MSI-L CRC.
No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · International Journal of Colorectal Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the majority of colorectal cancers (CRCs) under clinical suspicion for a hereditary cause, the disease-causing genetic factors are still to be discovered. To identify such genetic factors we stringently selected a discovery cohort of 41 CRC index patients with microsatellite-stable tumors. All patients were below 40 years of age at diagnosis and/or exhibited an overt family history. We employed genome-wide copy number profiling using high-resolution SNP arrays on germline DNA, which resulted in the identification of novel copy number variants (CNVs) in six patients (15%) encompassing, among others, the cadherin gene CDH18, the bone morphogenetic protein antagonist family gene GREM1, and the breakpoint cluster region gene BCR. In addition, two genomic deletions were encountered encompassing two microRNA genes, hsa-mir-491/KIAA1797 and hsa-mir-646/AK309218. None of these CNVs has previously been reported in relation to CRC predisposition in humans, nor were they encountered in large control cohorts (>1,600 unaffected individuals). Since several of these newly identified candidate genes may be functionally linked to CRC development, our results illustrate the potential of this approach for the identification of novel candidate genes involved in CRC predisposition.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · International Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate if immunohistochemical expression and mutational status of KIT and PDGFRA in GISTs are associated with the clinical course and disease-free survival after curative resection of the primary tumor without adjuvant systemic therapy.
Paraffin-embedded tumor sections of 95 GISTs were analyzed for KIT and PDGFRA expression by immunohistochemistry. PDGFRA expression was judged using a scoring system subdividing tumors in negative/weak and strong immunoreactivity groups. For mutation analysis, exons 9, 10, 11, 13, and 17 of KIT and exons 10, 12, 14, and 18 of PDGFRA were sequenced.
Of 95 R0-resected GISTs, 69% showed strong PDGFRA immunoreactivity. Gastric GISTs revealed a significantly higher rate of strong PDGFRA immunoreactivity (P = 0.01) and longer DFS (P = 0.015) than GISTs of the small intestine. KIT mutations were detected in 43 of 63 (68.3%) completely sequenced cases while PDGFRA mutations were identified in 6 cases (10%). In multivariate analysis, neither KIT/PDGFRA expression nor mutational status of KIT or PDGFRA were independent prognostic factors. Only mitotic rate predicted recurrence independently.
Our data do not support the notion that expression of PDGFRA or mutations in KIT or PDGFRA are independent prognostic factors after curative resection of primary GIST.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Journal of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A positive family history, germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes, tumours with high microsatellite instability, and loss of mismatch repair protein expression are the hallmarks of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome). However, in ~10-15% of cases of suspected Lynch syndrome, no disease-causing mechanism can be detected.
Oligo array analysis was performed to search for genomic imbalances in patients with suspected mutation-negative Lynch syndrome with MLH1 deficiency in their colorectal tumours.
A deletion in the LRRFIP2 (leucine-rich repeat flightless-interacting protein 2) gene flanking the MLH1 gene was detected, which turned out to be a paracentric inversion on chromosome 3p22.2 creating two new stable fusion transcripts between MLH1 and LRRFIP2. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in MLH1 exon 8 was expressed from both alleles, initially pointing to appropriate MLH1 function at least in peripheral cells. In a second case, an inherited duplication of the MLH1 gene region resulted in constitutional MLH1 promoter methylation. Constitutional MLH1 promoter methylation may therefore in rare cases be a heritable disease mechanism and should not be overlooked in seemingly sporadic patients.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular sensing in the lingual mucosa and in the gastro-intestinal tract play a role in the detection of ingested harmful drugs and toxins. Therefore, genetic polymorphisms affecting the capability of initiating these responses may be critical for the subsequent efficiency of avoiding and/or eliminating possible threats to the organism. By using a tagging approach in the region of Taste Receptor 2R38 (TAS2R38) gene, we investigated all the common genetic variation of this gene region in relation to colorectal cancer risk with a case-control study in a German population (709 controls and 602 cases) and in a Czech population (623 controls and 601 cases). We found that there were no significant associations between individual SNPs of the TAS2R38 gene and colorectal cancer in the Czech or in the German population, nor in the joint analysis. However, when we analyzed the diplotypes and the phenotypes we found that the non-taster group had an increased risk of colorectal cancer in comparison to the taster group. This association was borderline significant in the Czech population, (OR = 1.28, 95% CI 0.99-1.67; P(value) = 0.058) and statistically significant in the German population (OR = 1.36, 95% CI 1.06-1.75; P(value) = 0.016) and in the joint analysis (OR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.12-1.61; P(value) = 0.001). In conclusion, we found a suggestive association between the human bitter tasting phenotype and the risk of CRC in two different populations of Caucasian origin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, we identified 3' end deletions in the EPCAM gene as a novel cause of Lynch syndrome. These truncating EPCAM deletions cause allele-specific epigenetic silencing of the neighboring DNA mismatch repair gene MSH2 in tissues expressing EPCAM. Here we screened a cohort of unexplained Lynch-like families for the presence of EPCAM deletions. We identified 27 novel independent MSH2-deficient families from multiple geographical origins with varying deletions all encompassing the 3' end of EPCAM, but leaving the MSH2 gene intact. Within The Netherlands and Germany, EPCAM deletions appeared to represent at least 2.8% and 1.1% of the confirmed Lynch syndrome families, respectively. MSH2 promoter methylation was observed in epithelial tissues of all deletion carriers tested, thus confirming silencing of MSH2 as the causative defect. In a total of 45 families, 19 different deletions were found, all including the last two exons and the transcription termination signal of EPCAM. All deletions appeared to originate from Alu-repeat mediated recombination events. In 17 cases regions of microhomology around the breakpoints were found, suggesting nonallelic homologous recombination as the most likely mechanism. We conclude that 3' end EPCAM deletions are a recurrent cause of Lynch syndrome, which should be implemented in routine Lynch syndrome diagnostics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RET protooncogene plays a crucial role in neural crest development; accordingly, mutations of RET cause MEN2A and familial medullary thyroid carcinoma, while the expression deregulation of RET is involved in the pathophysiology of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and pancreatic cancer (PDAC). The aim of this study was to evaluate if germline variants of the RET protooncogene are associated with GBM, pancreatic cancer and gastric cancer (GC).
Genomic DNA from peripheral blood was isolated from 100 patients with GBM, 65 patients with GC and 54 patients with PDAC. The coding sequence of RET promoter, exon 2 and exon 13 was amplified. Sequence variations at -5 and -1 in the promotor and in exon 2 were determined through a LightCycler assay, and analysis of exon 13 was carried out by genomic sequencing.
There was no significant association of the RET-promoter or exon 2 genotypes with the phenotype in the different populations, although there was an increase of the GG genotype of the -5G>A variant in all cancers compared to controls. Sequencing of exon 13 identified mutation c.2372A>T in codon 791 (Y791F) in heterozygous state in one of 100 GBM patients, in two of 65 patients with gastric cancer, in two of 54 PDAC patients and in none of the controls.
Although our data did not reach significance in our small cohorts, we cannot rule out the involvement of the -5G promoter allele and the c.2372A>T mutation in the development of the aforementioned tumours.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · International Journal of Colorectal Disease