MSH6; mutS homolog 6 (2p16)

Gene Summary

Gene:MSH6; mutS homolog 6
Aliases: GTBP, HSAP, p160, GTMBP, HNPCC5
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the DNA mismatch repair MutS family. In E. coli, the MutS protein helps in the recognition of mismatched nucleotides prior to their repair. A highly conserved region of approximately 150 aa, called the Walker-A adenine nucleotide binding motif, exists in MutS homologs. The encoded protein heterodimerizes with MSH2 to form a mismatch recognition complex that functions as a bidirectional molecular switch that exchanges ADP and ATP as DNA mismatches are bound and dissociated. Mutations in this gene may be associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer, colorectal cancer, and endometrial cancer. Transcripts variants encoding different isoforms have been described. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2013]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:DNA mismatch repair protein Msh6
Updated:06 January, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (35)


What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
- Colorectal cancer KEGG
Data from KEGG and BioCarta [BIOCARTA terms] via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 January 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 06 January, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (6)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Colorectal CancerMSH6 and Colorectal Cancer View Publications489
Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer MSH6 and Lynch Syndrome View Publications364
Endometrial CancerMSH6 and Endometrial Cancer View Publications97
Ovarian CancerMSH6 and Ovarian Cancer View Publications44
Turcot SyndromeMSH6 mutations in Turcot Syndrome View Publications6
Urethral CancerMSH6 and Urethral Cancer View Publications1

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Related Links

Latest Publications: MSH6 (cancer-related)

Mills AM, Liou S, Ford JM, et al.
Lynch syndrome screening should be considered for all patients with newly diagnosed endometrial cancer.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(11):1501-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Mutation carriers are at substantially increased risk of developing cancers of the colorectum and endometrium, among others. Given recent recommendations for universal, cost-effective screening of all patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer using MMR protein immunohistochemistry, we evaluated MMR protein expression in a series of endometrial cancers in the general population. A total of 605 consecutive cases of primary endometrial cancer at a single institution (1997 to 2013) were evaluated regardless of age, family history, or histologic features. Evaluation methods consisted of immunohistochemistry for the MMR proteins MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2, followed by DNA methylation analysis for cases with MLH1/PMS2 deficiency. Germline mutation testing was performed on a subset of cases. Forty MMR-deficient, nonmethylated endometrial cancers were identified: 3 MLH1/PMS2 and 37 MSH6/MSH2 protein deficiencies. Only 25% occurred in women below 50 years of age (range, 39 to 88 y), 1 of which was in a risk-reducing hysterectomy specimen. Only 15% of patients had a prior history of carcinoma, including only 2 patients with prior colorectal carcinoma. Most (80%) of the endometrial cancers were purely endometrioid; there were 2 mixed endometrioid/mucinous, 1 mucinous, 1 serous, 2 clear cell, and 2 carcinosarcoma cases. When grading was applicable, 40% of the endometrial malignancies were FIGO grade 1, 34% grade 2, and 26% grade 3. Thirteen percent arose in the lower uterine segment, and 23% had tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Of the tumors with known germline testing, 41% with a LS-associated germline mutation were not associated with any of the traditional indicators that have been recommended for LS screening (ie, age 50 y or younger, personal/family cancer pedigree that meets Bethesda guideline criteria, presence of MMR-associated tumor morphology, or location in the lower uterine segment). These data suggest that a significant number of LS-associated endometrial carcinomas are missed using clinical, histologic, and locational screening parameters and provide support for universal screening of all newly diagnosed endometrial cancers.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer MLH1 MSH2

Loconte DC, Patruno M, Lastella P, et al.
A rare MSH2 mutation causes defective binding to hMSH6, normal hMSH2 staining, and loss of hMSH6 at advanced cancer stage.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(10):2162-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome is caused by germline mutations in 1 of the 4 DNA mismatch repair genes (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2). Mutations in MSH2 cause concomitant loss of hMSH6, whereas MLH1 mutations lead to concurrent loss of PMS2. Much less frequent mutations in MSH6 or PMS2 are associated with the isolated loss of the corresponding proteins. We here demonstrate the causative role of the first germline mutation of MSH2, c.1249-1251 dupGTT (p.417V-418I dupV), associated with normal hMSH2 expression and lack of hMSH6 protein despite a normal MSH6 gene sequence. hMSH6 protein was completely lost only in advanced cancer stages due to 2 different "second hits": a whole MSH2 gene deletion and a frame-shifting insertion in the MSH6 (C)8 repeat in the coding sequence.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC MSH2

Vierkoetter KR, Ayabe AR, VanDrunen M, et al.
Lynch Syndrome in patients with clear cell and endometrioid cancers of the ovary.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 135(1):81-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Patients with Lynch Syndrome are at an increased risk for a variety of malignancies, including ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancers associated with Lynch Syndrome are predominantly clear cell or endometrioid in histology. Lynch Syndrome is characterized by germline mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes. The current study aims to assess the prevalence of loss of MMR expression in patients with endometrioid and clear cell ovarian carcinoma.
METHODS: A retrospective review identified 90 patients with endometrioid and/or clear cell carcinomas. Slides made from tumor tissue microarray blocks were evaluated using immunohistochemical stains with antibodies against MLH1, PMS2, MSH2, and MSH6. Statistical analysis was performed.
RESULTS: Seven of the 90 cases (7.8%) had loss of MMR expression. The mean age of patients with loss of MMR expression (47 years) was significantly younger than those with retained MMR expression (p=0.014). Loss of MMR expression was present in 20% of patients under the age of 53 with clear cell or endometrioid cancers. Genetic studies found that 3 of the 5 patients with loss of MMR expression carried mutations consistent with Lynch Syndrome; acquired hypermethylation of MLH1 was noted in one patient. Six of 7 patients (86%) whose tumors lacked MMR expression had synchronous or metachronous primary malignancies, a significantly greater prevalence than those with retained MMR expression (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Patients under the age of 53 with clear cell or endometrioid ovarian carcinomas are at a clinically significant risk for loss of MMR expression and Lynch Syndrome; routine screening with immunohistochemical staining should be considered.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC Ovarian Cancer

Molinari F, Signoroni S, Lampis A, et al.
BRAF mutation analysis is a valid tool to implement in Lynch syndrome diagnosis in patients classified according to the Bethesda guidelines.
Tumori. 2014 May-Jun; 100(3):315-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Lynch syndrome (LS) is clinically defined by the Amsterdam criteria (AC) and by germline mutations in mismatch-repair (MMR) genes leading to microsatellite instability (MSI) at the molecular level. Patients who do not fulfil AC are considered suspected-Lynch according to the less stringent Bethesda guidelines (BG) and should be tested for MSI and MMR germline mutations. BRAF mutations have been proposed as a marker to exclude LS because they are generally absent in LS patients and present in sporadic colorectal cancer (sCRC) with MSI due to promoter hypermethylation of the MLH1 gene. Our aim was to verify whether BRAF mutations may improve the criteria to select patients for germline MMR mutation assessment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We analyzed 303 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded CRC samples including 174 sCRC, 28 patients fulfilling AC, and 101 suspected-Lynch patients fulfilling BG. We analyzed MSI and BRAF mutations in all CRC samples. MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6 germline mutations were investigated in MSI patients fulfilling AC or BG.
RESULTS: sCRC samples showed MSI in 20/174 (11%) cases. BRAF mutations were detected in 10/174 (6%) sCRC cases and were significantly correlated with MSI (P = 0.002). MSI was observed in 24/28 (86%) Amsterdam cases which were BRAF wild-type. MMR gene mutation was detected in 22/26 (85%) AC cases, all showing MSI. Suspected-Lynch cases carried MSI in 41/101 (40%) and BRAF mutations in 7/101 (7%) cases. MMR gene mutation was detected in 13/28 (46%) evaluable MSI patients of this group and only in cases characterized by a wild-type BRAF gene.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of BRAF mutations in CRC patients is not high but extremely correlated with MSI and risk categories as BG, whereas they are absent in LS patients. BRAF mutation detection can reduce the need for MMR gene analysis in a small (but not negligible) proportion of MSI patients (7%), with a positive impact on the financial and psychological costs of unnecessary tests.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC BRAF gene MLH1 MSH2

Joost P, Veurink N, Holck S, et al.
Heterogenous mismatch-repair status in colorectal cancer.
Diagn Pathol. 2014; 9:126 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Immunohistochemical staining for mismatch repair proteins is efficient and widely used to identify mismatch repair defective tumors. The tumors typically show uniform and widespread loss of MMR protein staining. We identified and characterized colorectal cancers with alternative, heterogenous mismatch repair protein staining in order to delineate expression patterns and underlying mechanisms.
METHODS: Heterogenous staining patterns that affected at least one of the mismatch repair proteins MLH1, PMS2, MSH2 and MSH6 were identified in 14 colorectal cancers. Based on alternative expression patterns macro-dissected and micro-dissected tumor areas were separately analyzed for microsatellite instability and MLH1 promoter methylation.
RESULTS: Heterogenous retained/lost mismatch repair protein expression could be classified as intraglandular (within or in-between glandular formations), clonal (in whole glands or groups of glands) and compartmental (in larger tumor areas/compartments or in between different tumor blocks). These patterns coexisted in 9/14 tumors and in the majority of the tumors correlated with differences in microsatellite instability/MLH1 methylation status.
CONCLUSIONS: Heterogenous mismatch repair status can be demonstrated in colorectal cancer. Though rare, attention to this phenomenon is recommended since it corresponds to differences in mismatch repair status that are relevant for correct classification.
VIRTUAL SLIDES: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1771940323126788.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer MLH1 MSH2

Yadav DS, Chattopadhyay I, Verma A, et al.
A pilot study evaluating genetic alterations that drive tobacco- and betel quid-associated oral cancer in Northeast India.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(9):9317-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The susceptibility of an individual to oral cancer is mediated by genetic factors and carcinogen-exposure behaviors such as betel quid chewing, tobacco use, and alcohol consumption. This pilot study was aimed to identify the genetic alteration in 100 bp upstream and downstream flanking regions in addition to the exonic regions of 169 cancer-associated genes by using Next Generation sequencing with aim to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of tobacco- and betel quid-associated oral cancer of Northeast India. To understand the role of chemical compounds present in tobacco and betel quid associated with the progression of oral cancer, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion and deletion (Indels) found in this study were analyzed for their association with chemical compounds found in tobacco and betel quid using Comparative Toxogenomic Database. Genes (AR, BRCA1, IL8, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with arecoline which is the major component of areca nut. Genes (BARD1, BRCA2, CCND2, IGF1R, MSH6, and RASSF1) with novel deletion and genes (APC, BRMS1, CDK2AP1, CDKN2B, GAS1, IGF1R, and RB1) with novel insertion were found to be associated with aflatoxin B1 which is produced by fermented areca nut. Genes (ADH6, APC, AR, BARD1, BRMS1, CDKN1A, E2F1, FGFR4, FLNC, HRAS, IGF1R, IL12B, IL8, NBL1, STAT5B, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with aflatoxin B1. Genes (ATM, BRCA1, CDKN1A, EGFR, IL8, and TP53) with novel SNP were found to be associated with tobacco specific nitrosamines.

Related: Oral Cancer

Woo HI, Woo YM, Kim S, et al.
Challenges in assessing pathogenicity based on frequency of variants in mismatch repair genes: an extreme case of a MSH2 variant and a meta-analysis.
Gene. 2014; 546(2):421-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical interpretation of variants in mismatch repair (MMR) genes associated with Lynch syndrome can be confusing when the functional nature of the variant is not clearly defined. We report an extreme case where a polymorphism in the MSH2 gene which had a low minor allele frequency, was misclassified as a mutation based on low evidential methods in the database and previous publications. We expanded this experience to perform a systematic meta-analysis in order to investigate other variants that have potentially been misclassified. Our results suggested that the interpretation of pathogenicity should be more cautious and emphasized the need for solid validation through multiple analyses including functional analysis for variants in MMR genes.

Related: Polymorphisms MSH2

Clay MR, Allison KH, Folkins AK, Longacre TA
Risk of secondary malignancy (including breast) in patients with mismatch-repair protein deficiency.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(11):1494-500 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lynch syndrome (LS) is an autosomal dominant inherited disease that is associated with an increased risk for colorectal and endometrial cancer due to germline mutations in mismatch-repair (MMR) genes. Whereas primary tumors in this syndrome are widely recognized, the relative risk(s) of secondary malignancies, particularly breast cancer, in LS patients are still poorly characterized. To provide an improved assessment of these risks, MMR status was evaluated in secondary tumors from a series of patients with index tumors of known MMR status (both proficient and deficient). A total of 1252 tumors (index tumors) and all secondary malignancies were tested for MMR by immunohistochemistry (MSH2, MSH6, MLH1, PMS2) between 1992 and 2013. Tumors with MLH1/PMS2 deficiency were tested for hypermethylation or BRAF mutation, when appropriate. Of the 1252 index tumors, 162 were MMR deficient (dMMR), and, of that subset, 32 secondary tumors were identified (19.7%). In contrast, 80 secondary tumors were identified in the proficient (intact) group (7.3%). Although secondary malignancies were more common in the dMMR group (P=0.0001), there was no trend in tumor type. Specifically, breast cancer was not overly represented in the dMMR group. When secondary tumors had dMMR, they were more likely to have deficiency in MSH2/MSH6 than in MLH1/PMS2 (P=0.01). Of the patients with tumors exhibiting dMMR, women were more likely to have a dMMR secondary tumor in this series (P=0.0001); however, breast cancer was not overly represented, and our study provides no evidence that it is more frequent in LS. MSH2/MSH6 deficiency is more commonly associated with a secondary tumor compared with MLH1/PMS2 deficiency, when methylation/BRAF status is taken into account.

Related: Breast Cancer Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC BRAF gene MLH1 MSH2

Silva FC, Lisboa BC, Figueiredo MC, et al.
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: assessment of point mutations and copy number variations in Brazilian patients.
BMC Med Genet. 2014; 15:55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Germ line mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) and other susceptibility genes have been identified as genetic causes of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). To identify the disease-causing mutations in a cohort of 120 Brazilian women fulfilling criteria for HBOC, we carried out a comprehensive screening of BRCA1/2, TP53 R337H, CHEK2 1100delC, followed by an analysis of copy number variations in 14 additional breast cancer susceptibility genes (PTEN, ATM, NBN, RAD50, RAD51, BRIP1, PALB2, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, TP53, CDKN2A, CDH1 and CTNNB1).
METHODS: Capillary sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) were used for detecting point mutations and copy number variations (CNVs), respectively, for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes; capillary sequencing was used for point mutation for both variants TP53 R337H and CHEK2 1100delC, and finally array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) was used for identifying CNVs in the 14 additional genes.
RESULTS: The positive detection rate in our series was 26%. BRCA1 pathogenic mutations were found in 20 cases, including two cases with CNVs, whereas BRCA2 mutations were found in 7 cases. We also found three patients with the TP53 R337H mutation and one patient with the CHEK2 1100delC mutation. Seven (25%) pathogenic mutations in BRCA1/2 were firstly described, including a splice-site BRCA1 mutation for which pathogenicity was confirmed by the presence of an aberrant transcript showing the loss of the last 62 bp of exon 7. Microdeletions of exon 4 in ATM and exon 2 in PTEN were identified in BRCA2-mutated and BRCA1/2-negative patients, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: In summary, our results showed a high frequency of BRCA1/2 mutations and a higher prevalence of BRCA1 (64.5%) gene. Moreover, the detection of the TP53 R337H variant in our series and the fact that this variant has a founder effect in our population prompted us to suggest that all female breast cancer patients with clinical criteria for HBOC and negative for BRCA1/2 genes should be tested for the TP53 R337H variant. Furthermore, the presence of genomic structural rearrangement resulting in CNVs in other genes that predispose breast cancer in conjunction with BRCA2 point mutations demonstrated a highly complex genetic etiology in Brazilian breast cancer families.


Bregenhorn S, Jiricny J
Biochemical characterization of a cancer-associated E109K missense variant of human exonuclease 1.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(11):7096-103 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mutations in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes MSH2, MSH6, MLH1 and PMS2 are associated with Lynch Syndrome (LS), a familial predisposition to early-onset cancer of the colon and other organs. Because not all LS families carry mutations in these four genes, the search for cancer-associated mutations was extended to genes encoding other members of the mismatch repairosome. This effort identified mutations in EXO1, which encodes the sole exonuclease implicated in MMR. One of these mutations, E109K, was reported to abrogate the catalytic activity of the enzyme, yet, in the crystal structure of the EXO1/DNA complex, this glutamate is far away from both DNA and the catalytic site of the enzyme. In an attempt to elucidate the reason underlying the putative loss of function of this variant, we expressed it in Escherichia coli, and tested its activity in a series of biochemical assays. We now report that, contrary to earlier reports, and unlike the catalytic site mutant D173A, the EXO1 E109K variant resembled the wild-type (wt) enzyme on all tested substrates. In the light of our findings, we attempt here to reinterpret the results of the phenotypic characterization of a knock-in mouse carrying the E109K mutation and cells derived from it.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Cornejo KM, Hutchinson L, Deng A, et al.
BRAF/KRAS gene sequencing of sebaceous neoplasms after mismatch repair protein analysis.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(6):1213-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sebaceous neoplasms are cutaneous markers for the autosomal-dominant Muir-Torre syndrome (MTS). This phenotypic variant of Lynch syndrome (LS) is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Microsatellite instability or loss of protein expression suggests a mutation or promoter hypermethylation in 1 of the MMR genes. BRAF gene sequencing may help to distinguish between patients with sporadic and LS-associated colorectal carcinomas with loss of MLH1 expression. LS-associated carcinomas are virtually negative for BRAF mutations, but a subset harbors KRAS mutations. The aim of our study was to test sebaceous neoplasms for V600E BRAF or KRAS mutations to determine if these mutations are associated with somatic or germline MMR defects, analogous to colorectal carcinomas. Over a 4-year period, 32 cases comprising 21 sebaceous adenomas, 3 sebaceomas, and 8 sebaceous carcinomas with sufficient material for testing were collected. MMR immunohistochemistry showed that 7 neoplasms had combined loss of MLH1-PMS2, 16 neoplasms had combined loss of MSH2-MSH6, 2 neoplasms had solitary loss of MSH6, and 7 sebaceous neoplasms had intact protein expression. BRAF/KRAS testing revealed all sebaceous neoplasms contained a wild-type BRAF gene. Two (15%) of 13 patients with MTS were found to harbor a KRAS mutation and loss of MLH1 expression. We conclude that a V600E BRAF mutation may not be helpful in distinguishing sporadic from MTS-associated sebaceous neoplasms. Further studies are needed to determine if KRAS mutations are restricted to patients with MTS or are also present in sporadic sebaceous neoplasms.

Related: BRAF gene KRAS gene MLH1

Abulí A, Bujanda L, Muñoz J, et al.
The MLH1 c.1852_1853delinsGC (p.K618A) variant in colorectal cancer: genetic association study in 18,723 individuals.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95022 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent neoplasms and an important cause of mortality in the developed world. Mendelian syndromes account for about 5% of the total burden of CRC, being Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis the most common forms. Lynch syndrome tumors develop mainly as a consequence of defective DNA mismatch repair associated with germline mutations in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. A significant proportion of variants identified by screening these genes correspond to missense or noncoding changes without a clear pathogenic consequence, and they are designated as "variants of uncertain significance", being the c.1852_1853delinsGC (p.K618A) variant in the MLH1 gene a clear example. The implication of this variant as a low-penetrance risk variant for CRC was assessed in the present study by performing a case-control study within a large cohort from the COGENT consortium-COST Action BM1206 including 18,723 individuals (8,055 colorectal cancer cases and 10,668 controls) and a case-only genotype-phenotype correlation with several clinical and pathological characteristics restricted to the Epicolon cohort. Our results showed no involvement of this variant as a low-penetrance variant for colorectal cancer genetic susceptibility and no association with any clinical and pathological characteristics including family history for this neoplasm or Lynch syndrome.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer MLH1 MSH2

Liu Y, Chew MH, Goh XW, et al.
Systematic study on genetic and epimutational profile of a cohort of Amsterdam criteria-defined Lynch Syndrome in Singapore.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Germline defects of mismatch repair (MMR) genes underlie Lynch Syndrome (LS). We aimed to gain comprehensive genetic and epigenetic profiles of LS families in Singapore, which will facilitate efficient molecular diagnosis of LS in Singapore and the region.
METHODS: Fifty nine unrelated families were studied. Mutations in exons, splice-site junctions and promoters of five MMR genes were scanned by high resolution melting assay followed by DNA sequencing, large fragment deletions/duplications and promoter methylation in MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2 were evaluated by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Tumor microsatellite instability (MSI) was assessed with five mononucleotide markers and immunohistochemical staining (IHC) was also performed.
RESULTS: Pathogenic defects, all confined to MLH1 and MSH2, were identified in 17 out of 59 (28.8%) families. The mutational spectrum was highly heterogeneous and 28 novel variants were identified. One recurrent mutation in MLH1 (c.793C>T) was also observed. 92.9% sensitivity for indication of germline mutations conferred by IHC surpassed 64.3% sensitivity by MSI. Furthermore, 15.6% patients with MSS tumors harbored pathogenic mutations.
CONCLUSIONS: Among major ethnic groups in Singapore, all pathogenic germline defects were confined to MLH1 and MSH2. Caution should be applied when the Amsterdam criteria and consensus microsatellite marker panel recommended in the revised Bethesda guidelines are applied to the local context. We recommend a screening strategy for the local LS by starting with tumor IHC and the hotspot mutation testing at MLH1 c.793C>T followed by comprehensive mutation scanning in MLH1 and MSH2 prior to proceeding to other MMR genes.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC

Usmani N, Leong N, Martell K, et al.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms studied for associations with urinary toxicity from (125)I prostate brachytherapy implants.
Brachytherapy. 2014 May-Jun; 13(3):285-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To identify clinical, dosimetric, and genetic factors that are associated with late urinary toxicity after a (125)I prostate brachytherapy implant.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Genomic DNA from 296 men treated with (125)I prostate brachytherapy monotherapy was extracted from saliva samples for this study. A retrospective database was compiled including clinical, dosimetric, and toxicity data for this cohort of patients. Fourteen candidate single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) from 13 genes (TP53, ERCC2, GSTP1, NOS, TGFβ1, MSH6, RAD51, ATM, LIG4, XRCC1, XRCC3, GSTA1, and SOD2) were tested in this cohort for correlations with toxicity.
RESULTS: This study identified 217 men with at least 2 years of followup. Of these, 39 patients developed Grade ≥2 late urinary complications with a transurethral resection of prostate, urethral stricture, gross hematuria, or a sustained increase in their International Prostate Symptom Score. The only clinical or dosimetric factor that was associated with late urinary toxicity was age (p = 0.02). None of the 14 SNPs tested in this study were associated with late urinary toxicity in the univariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: This study identified age as the only variable being associated with late urinary toxicity. However, the small sample size and the candidate gene approach used in this study mean that further investigations are essential. Genome-wide association studies are emerging as the preferred approach for future radiogenomic studies to overcome the limitations from a candidate gene approach.

Related: Brachytherapy Prostate Cancer

Amira AT, Mouna T, Ahlem B, et al.
Immunohistochemical expression pattern of MMR protein can specifically identify patients with colorectal cancer microsatellite instability.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(7):6283-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
The microsatellite instability (MSI) pathway is found in most cases of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and in 12 % of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). It involves inactivation of deoxyribonucleic acid mismatch repair (MMR) genes MLH1, MSH2, PMS2, and MSH6. MMR germline mutation detections are an important supplement to HNPCC clinical diagnosis. It enables at-risk and mutation-positive relatives to be informed about their cancer risks and to benefit from intensive surveillance programs that have been proven to reduce the incidence of CRC. In this study, we analyzed for the first time in Tunisia the potential value of immunohistochemical assessment of MMR protein to identify microsatellite instability in CRC. We evaluate by immunohistochemistry MMR protein expression loss in tumoral tissue compared to positive expression in normal mucosa. Immunohistochemistry revealed loss of expression for MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 in 15, 21, 13, and 15 % of cases, respectively. Here, we report a more elevated frequency of MSI compared to data of the literature. In fact, by immunohistochemistry, 70 % of cases were shown to be MSS phenotype, whereas 30 % of cases, in our set, were instable. Moreover, according to molecular investigation, 71 % of cases were instable (MSI-H) and remaining cases were stable (29 %). Thus, we found a perfect association between MMR immunohistochemical analyses and MSI molecular investigation. Immunohistochemical analysis of MMR gene product expression may allow one to specifically identify MSI phenotype of patients with colorectal carcinomas.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC MLH1 MSH2

Pai RK, Shadrach BL, Carver P, et al.
Immunohistochemistry for annexin A10 can distinguish sporadic from Lynch syndrome-associated microsatellite-unstable colorectal carcinoma.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(4):518-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differentiating sporadic microsatellite-unstable colorectal carcinoma due to MLH1 promoter hypermethylation from Lynch syndrome (LS)-associated tumors due to mutations in mismatch-repair proteins is time consuming, cost intensive, and requires advanced laboratory testing. A mutation in BRAF has been shown to be highly specific for sporadic tumors; however, a significant proportion of sporadic microsatellite-unstable tumors lack BRAF mutations. MLH1 promoter methylation analysis is subsequently used to differentiate LS and sporadic tumors, but both tests require specialized laboratories and are costly. Through previous gene expression profiling of serrated polyps, we identified annexin A10 as a protein highly expressed in sessile serrated adenomas/polyps. As these polyps give rise to the majority of sporadic microsatellite-unstable tumors, we evaluated the ability of annexin A10 expression to discriminate between LS and sporadic tumors. A marked increase in annexin A10 mRNA was observed in sporadic microsatellite-unstable tumors compared with LS tumors (378-fold increase, P<0.001). Using immunohistochemistry, annexin A10 was expressed in 23/53 (43%) BRAF-mutated and 9/22 (41%) BRAF wild-type sporadic tumors. In contrast, only 3/56 (5%) LS tumors were positive for annexin A10 (P<0.0001). One patient had a deleterious MSH2 mutation, and another had a variant of uncertain significance in MSH6. These 2 tumors could be easily distinguished from sporadic tumors using mismatch-repair protein immunohistochemistry. Only 1/28 (4%) LS tumors with loss of MLH1 was positive for annexin A10. This patient did not have a deleterious MLH1 mutation but rather germline promoter hypermethylation of MLH1. On the basis of these results, immunohistochemistry for annexin A10 may be a useful marker to distinguish sporadic from LS-associated microsatellite-unstable colon cancer.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC MLH1

Lee SE, Kang SY, Cho J, et al.
Pyloric gland adenoma in Lynch syndrome.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(6):784-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The prevalence of gastric cancer associated with Lynch syndrome (LS) is highly variable, and the underlying histologic pathway or molecular mechanisms remain unclear. From 1995 to 2012, 15 patients had been treated for both gastric and colonic adenocarcinomas and diagnosed as LS. In all cases, pathologic review, immunohistochemical analysis for mismatch-repair proteins, and microsatellite instability (MSI) tests were performed. To confirm LS, germline mutation tests and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification were performed. All gastric and colonic carcinomas were MSI-high and lost expressions of MLH1/PMS2 in 11 (73%) cases and MSH2/MSH6 in 4 (27%) cases. Remarkably, in a patient with LS and germline mutation of MLH1 gene, pyloric gland adenoma (PGA) transformed to adenocarcinoma during follow-up. In 2 additional cases, PGA was found adjacent to advanced gastric cancers. All PGAs in LS patients were MSI-high and lost expression of mismatch-repair proteins (MLH1/PMS2 in 2 cases and MSH2/MSH6 in 1 case), whereas none of the 14 sporadic PGAs was MSI-high or had lost expression of mismatch-repair proteins. On the basis of these observations, although very rare, we suggest the possibility that PGA may be a precursor lesion to gastric adenocarcinoma in LS and that the mismatch-repair deficient pathway of carcinogenesis is involved early in the gastric carcinogenesis pathway.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC Stomach Cancer Gastric Cancer MLH1

Rabban JT, Calkins SM, Karnezis AN, et al.
Association of tumor morphology with mismatch-repair protein status in older endometrial cancer patients: implications for universal versus selective screening strategies for Lynch syndrome.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(6):793-800 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although there is consensus on the cost-effectiveness of a universal approach of screening all colorectal cancer patients for Lynch syndrome (LS) using mismatch-repair (MMR) protein immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or microsatellite instability (MSI) testing, the question of universal versus selective screening of endometrial cancer patients remains to be resolved. We have prospectively implemented a selective screening algorithm for newly diagnosed endometrial cancer patients, triggered by patient age 50 years or younger, personal/family cancer pedigree that meets Bethesda guideline criteria, and/or presence of MMR-associated tumor morphology. Four-protein MMR IHC and MSI testing were performed if any of the criteria were met. This algorithm excluded screening of older patients without a cancer pedigree and whose tumors lacked MMR morphology. The aim of this study was to retrospectively determine whether these exclusion criteria missed any tumors with abnormal MMR. Among 273 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed endometrial cancers, 181 (66%) lacked criteria for screening. Retrospective MMR IHC confirmed intact MMR in 177 (97.8%) of these 181 unscreened patients, loss of MSH6 in 1 patient (0.5%), and loss of MSH1/PMS2 due to MLH1 promoter hypermethylation in 3 patients (1.7%). In comparison, 41% of patients fulfilling 1 or more criteria for screening had abnormal MMR IHC/MSI, mostly consisting of loss of MLH1/PMS2. MMR morphology contributed to detection of 92% of the abnormal MMR cases while cancer pedigree contributed to detection of the remainder. All of the abnormalities due to MSH2 and PMS2 were detected by the screening algorithm, but 1 of the 4 MSH6 cases was not. The latter finding is consistent with the literature that MSH6 endometrial cancers exhibit a phenotype different than those of the other MMR genes. We conclude that a genotype-specific approach to screening endometrial cancer for LS could consist of universal testing by MSH6 IHC and selective testing by MLH1, PMS2, and MSH2 IHC on the basis of age, cancer pedigree, and MMR morphology. Cost-effectiveness of this hybrid selective strategy deserves further study, particularly in comparison with a universal strategy. Further work to identify phenotypic features of endometrial cancers with methylated MLH1 that would allow them to be excluded from LS screening would also contribute to cost-effectiveness.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC Cancer Screening and Early Detection Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer MLH1

Haghighi MM, Aghagolzadeh P, Zadeh SM, et al.
Telomere shortening: a biological marker of sporadic colorectal cancer with normal expression of p53 and mismatch repair proteins.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2014; 18(4):236-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uncontrolled growth of cells, a main criterion of cancer, is merged with pathologic telomere length alteration. Thereby, measurement of telomere length could provide important information on cell proliferation and senescence in cancer tissues. Telomere shortening and its potential correlation with clinicopathological predictive markers in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) with normal expression of mismatch repair (MMR) proteins (including Mlh1, Msh2, Pms2, and Msh6) and normal p53 expression was completely explored. Relative telomere length (RTL) was quantitatively measured in a cohort of 164 samples (68 patients with sporadic CRC and 96 healthy unrelated controls). Our results demonstrated a significant shortening of RTL in the tumor-derived tissue of patients compared with the control group (p<0.001). Interestingly, significant telomere shortening was observed in tumors from an ascending and sigmoid colon in comparison with tumors located in a descending colon. Additionally, the telomere length was significantly shorter in those with lymph node metastasis (p<0.05). The results suggest that pathological telomere shortening, leading to genome instability and lymphatic transformation, could serve as a potential sensitive detection and also as a classification marker for facilitating diagnosis and management of CRC.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer

Vymetalkova VP, Slyskova J, Korenkova V, et al.
Molecular characteristics of mismatch repair genes in sporadic colorectal tumors in Czech patients.
BMC Med Genet. 2014; 15:17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mismatch repair (MMR) genes are known to be frequently altered in colorectal cancer (CRC). Both genetics and epigenetics modifications seems to be relevant in this phenomenon, however it is still not clear how these two aspects are interconnected. The present study aimed at characterizing of epigenetic and gene expression profiles of MMR genes in sporadic CRC patients from the Czech Republic, a country with one of the highest incidences of this cancer all over Europe.
METHODS: Expression levels and CpG promoter methylation status of all MMR genes were evaluated in DNA from tumor and adjacent mucosal samples of 53 incident CRC patients.
RESULTS: We have found significantly increased transcription levels in EXO1 gene in tumor tissues (P = 0.05) and significant over-expression of MSH3 gene in colon tumors when compared to adjacent mucosal tissues (P = 0.02). Interestingly, almost all MMR genes were differently expressed when localization of tumors was compared. In particular, colon tumors showed an up-regulation of EXO1, MSH2, MSH3, MSH6, and PMS2 genes in comparison to rectal tumors (P = 0.02). Expression levels of all MMR genes positively correlated between each other. The promoter methylation of MLH1 gene was observed in 9% of CRC tissues only.
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, we have observed different pattern of MMR genes expression according to tumor localization. However, a lack of association between methylation in MMR genes and their corresponding expressions was noticed in this study, the relationship between these two aspects is worthy to be analyzed in larger population studies and in pre-malignant stages.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer

Much M, Buza N, Hui P
Tissue identity testing of cancer by short tandem repeat polymorphism: pitfalls of interpretation in the presence of microsatellite instability.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(3):549-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tissue identity testing by short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphism offers discriminating power in resolving tissue mix-up or contamination. However, one caveat is the presence of microsatellite unstable tumors, in which genetic alterations may drastically change the STR wild-type polymorphism leading to unexpected allelic discordance. We examined how tissue identity testing results can be altered by the presence of microsatellite instability (MSI). Eleven cases of MSI-unstable (9 intestinal and 2 endometrial adenocarcinomas) and 10 cases of MSI-stable tumors (all colorectal adenocarcinomas) were included. All had been previously tested by polymerase chain reaction testing at 5 National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommended MSI loci and/or immunohistochemistry for DNA mismatch repair proteins (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2). Tissue identity testing targeting 15 STR loci was performed using AmpF/STR Identifiler Amplification. Ten of 11 MSI-unstable tumors demonstrated novel alleles at 5 to 12 STR loci per case and frequently with 3 or more allelic peaks. However, all affected loci showed identifiable germline allele(s) in MSI-high tumors. A wild-type allelic profile was seen in 7 of 10 MSI-stable tumors. In the remaining 3 cases, isolated novel alleles were present at a unique single locus in addition to germline alleles. Loss of heterozygosity was observed frequently in both MSI-stable (6/11 cases) and MSI-unstable tumors (8/10 cases). In conclusion, MSI may significantly alter the wild-type allelic polymorphism, leading to potential interpretation errors of STR genotyping. Careful examination of the STR allelic pattern, high index of suspicion, and follow-up MSI testing are crucial to avoid erroneous conclusions and subsequent clinical and legal consequences.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer Cancer of the Esophagus Esophageal Cancer Polymorphisms MLH1 MSH2

Peltomäki P
Epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of Lynch syndrome.
Clin Genet. 2014; 85(5):403-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inherited defects in the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 genes, underlie Lynch syndrome, one of the most prevalent cancer syndromes in man. The syndrome offers a model for cancers arising through MMR defects and microsatellite instability, which applies to ~ 15% of all colorectal, endometrial, and other cancers. Lynch syndrome also illustrates the significance of the epigenetic component in cancer development. Inactivation of tumor suppressor genes by epigenetic mechanisms is an acquired property of many tumors developing in Lynch syndrome. Furthermore, constitutional epimutations of MMR genes may explain a proportion of mutation-negative families lacking MLH1 or MSH2 protein expression in tumor tissue. This review provides an update of the molecular basis of Lynch syndrome by focusing on the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of the disease.

Related: Lynch Syndrome - HNPCC MLH1 MSH2

Liau JY, Liao SL, Hsiao CH, et al.
Hypermethylation of the CDKN2A gene promoter is a frequent epigenetic change in periocular sebaceous carcinoma and is associated with younger patient age.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(3):533-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Periocular sebaceous carcinoma is an aggressive neoplasm with significant morbidity and mortality. Its pathogenesis is poorly understood. It is only rarely associated with Muir-Torre syndrome. Previous studies from Asian countries, have suggested that human papillomavirus (HPV) infection plays a role in the pathogenesis and overexpression of p16(INK4a), a surrogate marker of HPV infection, have also been reported. However, data from western countries seem contradictory. In order to clarify and explore the molecular and epigenetic basis of HPV, CDKN2A status and role of microsatellite instability in the development of periocular sebaceous carcinoma, 24 cases of periocular sebaceous carcinoma were analyzed for the expression of p16(INK4a) and mismatch repair proteins (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2) via immunohistochemistry. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genechip HPV typing were used to detect HPV infection and decide its genotype when present. PCR amplification using a consensus primer pair was also performed to detect β-HPV. The methylation status of CDKN2A promoter region was studied by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. HPV-positivity was demonstrated in only one of our cases (HPV 16), while another case showed p16(INK4a) overexpression. All cases showed preserved expression of mismatch repair proteins. CDKN2A promoter hypermethylation was noted in nearly half of our cases (11/24) and was associated with younger patient age (P = .013). Our results showed that periocular sebaceous carcinoma is rarely associated with HPV and microsatellite instability. Higher frequency of CDKN2A promoter hypermethylation in younger patients implies a significant epigenetic role in tumor development in this age group.

Related: Cervical Cancer

Bakry D, Aronson M, Durno C, et al.
Genetic and clinical determinants of constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome: report from the constitutional mismatch repair deficiency consortium.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(5):987-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Constitutional mismatch repair deficiency (CMMRD) is a devastating cancer predisposition syndrome for which data regarding clinical manifestations, molecular screening tools and management are limited.
METHODS: We established an international CMMRD consortium and collected comprehensive clinical and genetic data. Molecular diagnosis of tumour and germline biospecimens was performed. A surveillance protocol was developed and implemented.
RESULTS: Overall, 22/23 (96%) of children with CMMRD developed 40 different tumours. While childhood CMMRD related tumours were observed in all families, Lynch related tumours in adults were observed in only 2/14 families (p=0.0007). All children with CMMRD had café-au-lait spots and 11/14 came from consanguineous families. Brain tumours were the most common cancers reported (48%) followed by gastrointestinal (32%) and haematological malignancies (15%). Importantly, 12 (30%) of these were low grade and resectable cancers. Tumour immunohistochemistry was 100% sensitive and specific in diagnosing mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency of the corresponding gene while microsatellite instability was neither sensitive nor specific as a diagnostic tool (p<0.0001). Furthermore, screening of normal tissue by immunohistochemistry correlated with genetic confirmation of CMMRD. The surveillance protocol detected 39 lesions which included asymptomatic malignant gliomas and gastrointestinal carcinomas. All tumours were amenable to complete resection and all patients undergoing surveillance are alive.
DISCUSSION: CMMRD is a highly penetrant syndrome where family history of cancer may not be contributory. Screening tumours and normal tissues using immunohistochemistry for abnormal expression of MMR gene products may help in diagnosis and early implementation of surveillance for these children.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction Children's Cancer Web: Home Page MLH1 MSH2

Dadone B, Ambrosetti D, Carpentier X, et al.
A renal metanephric adenoma showing both a 2p16e24 deletion and BRAF V600E mutation: a synergistic role for a tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 2p and BRAF activation?
Cancer Genet. 2013 Sep-Oct; 206(9-10):347-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metanephric adenomas (MAs) are rare benign tumors that may be difficult to recognize. Specific genetic anomalies might aid in diagnosis, but genomic data are limited and conflicting. Consistent mutations of the BRAF gene have been recently reported in MAs and could become useful as a discriminative marker among renal tumors. We report here a case of MA, showing both a BRAF V600E mutation and a segmental loss within bands 2p16 and 2p24 as the sole quantitative genomic anomaly. We compared the borders and size of the deleted region in our case to those of five cases of MAs previously reported. We identified a common minimal region containing 87 genes, among which several tumor suppressor genes could be candidate actors in the pathogenesis of MA. We ruled out MSH2 and MSH6 as target gene candidates, both located in the deleted region, on the basis of preserved expression and microsatellite sequence stability. Our study confirms the recurrence of a BRAF mutation and of 2p alterations in MAs. This first case showing simultaneous presence of a BRAF mutation and a 2p deletion raises the question of a synergistic role for these two anomalies in the pathogenesis of MAs.

Related: Chromosome 2 CGH FISH Kidney Cancer BRAF gene

Thompson BA, Spurdle AB, Plazzer JP, et al.
Application of a 5-tiered scheme for standardized classification of 2,360 unique mismatch repair gene variants in the InSiGHT locus-specific database.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(2):107-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical classification of hereditary sequence variants identified in disease-related genes directly affects clinical management of patients and their relatives. The International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours (InSiGHT) undertook a collaborative effort to develop, test and apply a standardized classification scheme to constitutional variants in the Lynch syndrome-associated genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2. Unpublished data submission was encouraged to assist in variant classification and was recognized through microattribution. The scheme was refined by multidisciplinary expert committee review of the clinical and functional data available for variants, applied to 2,360 sequence alterations, and disseminated online. Assessment using validated criteria altered classifications for 66% of 12,006 database entries. Clinical recommendations based on transparent evaluation are now possible for 1,370 variants that were not obviously protein truncating from nomenclature. This large-scale endeavor will facilitate the consistent management of families suspected to have Lynch syndrome and demonstrates the value of multidisciplinary collaboration in the curation and classification of variants in public locus-specific databases.

Related: Gastrointestinal System Cancers

Han W, Jones FE
HER4 selectively coregulates estrogen stimulated genes associated with breast tumor cell proliferation.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 443(2):458-63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/01/2015 Related Publications
The EGFR-family member HER4 undergoes regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) to generate an intracellular domain (4ICD) that functions as a transcriptional coactivator. Accordingly, 4ICD coactivates the estrogen receptor (ER) and associates with ER at target gene promoters in breast tumor cells. However, the extent of 4ICD coactivation of ER and the functional significance of the 4ICD/ER transcriptional complex is unclear. To identify 4ICD coactivated genes we performed a microarray gene expression analysis of β-estradiol treated cells comparing control MCF-7 breast cancer cells to MCF-7 cells where HER4 expression was stably suppressed using a shRNA. In the MCF-7 cell line, β-estradiol significantly stimulated or repressed by 2-fold or more 726 or 53 genes, respectively. Significantly, HER4/4ICD was an obligate coactivator for 277 or 38% of the β-estradiol stimulated genes. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis of β-estradiol regulated genes identified significant associations with multiple cellular functions regulating cellular growth and proliferation, cell cycle progression, cancer metastasis, decreased hypoplasia, tumor cell migration, apoptotic resistance of tumor cells, and increased transcription. Genes coactivated by 4ICD displayed functional specificity by only significantly contributing to cellular growth and proliferation, cell cycle progression, and decreased hypoplasia. In direct concordance with these in situ results we show that HER4 knockdown in MCF-7 cells results in a loss of estrogen stimulated tumor cell proliferation and cell cycle progression, whereas, estrogen stimulated tumor cell migration was unaffected by loss of HER4 expression. In summary, we demonstrate for the first time that a cell surface receptor functions as an obligate ER coactivator with functional specificity associated with breast tumor cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Nearly 90% of ER positive tumors coexpress HER4, therefore we predict that the majority of breast cancer patients would benefit from a strategy to therapeutic disengage ER/4ICD coregulated tumor cell proliferation.

Related: Breast Cancer

Xiao X, Melton DW, Gourley C
Mismatch repair deficiency in ovarian cancer -- molecular characteristics and clinical implications.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 132(2):506-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency is associated with increased risk of developing several types of cancer and is the most common cause of hereditary ovarian cancer after BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. While there has been extensive investigation of MMR deficiency in colorectal cancer, MMR in ovarian cancer is relatively under-investigated. This review summarizes the mechanism of MMR, the ways in which MMR deficiency can promote carcinogenesis in general and then assesses the available studies regarding MMR deficiency in ovarian cancers with specific emphasis on implications for disease incidence and therapy. The incidence of germline MMR gene mutations in ovarian cancer is only 2% but other mechanisms of gene inactivation mean that loss of expression of one of the seven main genes (MSH2, MSH3, MSH6, MLH1, MLH3, PMS1 and PMS2) occurs in up to 29% of cases. Both mutational and expression data suggest that MMR deficiency is more common in non-serous ovarian cancer. Some studies suggest an improved survival for patients with MMR deficiency compared to historical controls but these do not account for the preponderance of non-serous tumors. A number of in vitro studies have suggested that MMR deficiency is a cause of platinum resistance. To date this has not been categorically demonstrated in the clinic. Larger studies that account for stage of presentation and immunohistochemical subtype are required to assess the effect of MMR deficiency on survival and chemosensitivity. Investigation of MMR related synthetic lethality in colorectal cancer has identified dihydrofolate reductase, DNA polymerase β and DNA polymerase γ and PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 as synthetic lethal to certain MMR defects by causing accumulation of oxidative DNA damage. These synthetic lethal targets require tested and others should be sought within the context of MMR deficient ovarian cancer in an attempt to provide novel therapeutic strategies for these patients.

Related: Ovarian Cancer

Buchanan DD, Tan YY, Walsh MD, et al.
Tumor mismatch repair immunohistochemistry and DNA MLH1 methylation testing of patients with endometrial cancer diagnosed at age younger than 60 years optimizes triage for population-level germline mismatch repair gene mutation testing.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(2):90-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Clinicopathologic data from a population-based endometrial cancer cohort, unselected for age or family history, were analyzed to determine the optimal scheme for identification of patients with germline mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Endometrial cancers from 702 patients recruited into the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study (ANECS) were tested for MMR protein expression using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and for MLH1 gene promoter methylation in MLH1-deficient cases. MMR mutation testing was performed on germline DNA of patients with MMR-protein deficient tumors. Prediction of germline mutation status was compared for combinations of tumor characteristics, age at diagnosis, and various clinical criteria (Amsterdam, Bethesda, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, ANECS).
RESULTS: Tumor MMR-protein deficiency was detected in 170 (24%) of 702 cases. Germline testing of 158 MMR-deficient cases identified 22 truncating mutations (3% of all cases) and four unclassified variants. Tumor MLH1 methylation was detected in 99 (89%) of 111 cases demonstrating MLH1/PMS2 IHC loss; all were germline MLH1 mutation negative. A combination of MMR IHC plus MLH1 methylation testing in women younger than 60 years of age at diagnosis provided the highest positive predictive value for the identification of mutation carriers at 46% versus ≤ 41% for any other criteria considered.
CONCLUSION: Population-level identification of patients with MMR mutation-positive endometrial cancer is optimized by stepwise testing for tumor MMR IHC loss in patients younger than 60 years, tumor MLH1 methylation in individuals with MLH1 IHC loss, and germline mutations in patients exhibiting loss of MSH6, MSH2, or PMS2 or loss of MLH1/PMS2 with absence of MLH1 methylation.

Related: Australia Cancer Screening and Early Detection Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer MLH1 MSH2

Rajan Kd A, Burris C, Iliff N, et al.
DNA mismatch repair defects and microsatellite instability status in periocular sebaceous carcinoma.
Am J Ophthalmol. 2014; 157(3):640-7.e1-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To characterize mismatch repair protein expression and the role of DNA repair abnormalities in sebaceous carcinomas of the ocular adnexa.
DESIGN: Retrospective case-series study.
METHODS: We reviewed 10 cases of sporadic sebaceous carcinoma and 1 case involving a patient with a family history consistent with Muir-Torre syndrome. Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze the presence of 4 mismatch repair proteins (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2) in these tumors. DNA was extracted from 7 of the larger tumors as well as from adjacent normal control tissue and microsatellite instability (MSI) analysis using 5 highly sensitive mononucleotides and 2 pentanucleotides was performed.
RESULTS: All 10 sporadic periocular sebaceous carcinomas maintained strong staining of the 4 mismatch repair genes, while tumor from the patient with Muir-Torre syndrome showed loss of staining for the mismatch repair genes MSH2 and MSH6. MSI testing of 7 tumors identified no changes in sporadic cases and yielded results supporting presence of repeat sequence instability in the Muir-Torre-associated case.
CONCLUSIONS: Sporadic sebaceous carcinoma of the ocular adnexa is not commonly associated with a loss of mismatch repair genes or microsatellite instability.

Related: MLH1 MSH2


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