MSH2 splice site mutation and endometrial cancer

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Abstract

Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is an inherited syndrome of cancer susceptibility caused by germ line mutations of genes participating in mismatch repair (MMR). Carriers of MMR gene mutations have an increased risk of colorectal cancers and cancer of other organs. Tumors of the endometrium represent the most frequent extracolonic malignancies in HNPCC. It has been suggested that women harboring MMR gene mutations have a higher risk of endometrial cancer than of colon cancer. Here, we describe an HNPCC patient with early-onset endometrial cancer and a strong familial history of endometrial tumors who harbored a germ line MSH2 splice site mutation (IVS9_2A>G). This mutation was responsible for abnormal messenger RNA processing, leading to the introduction of a premature stop signal and to the expression of a truncated MSH2 protein. In addition, the same mutation was associated with loss of MSH2 protein expression, high microsatellite instability, and PTEN inactivation. Although a direct relationship between the endometrial cancer susceptibility and the MSH2 mutation we found cannot be established, our observations, consistent with the work of other authors, suggest the involvement of germ line MSH2 abnormalities in endometrial tumor development and support the case for endometrial cancer screening in women from HNPCC families.

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