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Cancer Res. 1999 Oct 15;59(20):5068-74.

Germ-line msh6 mutations in colorectal cancer families.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Department of Medicine and Cancer Center, University of California San Diego Medical School, La Jolla 92093-0660, USA.


Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) is due primarily to inherited mutations in two mismatch repair genes, MSH2 and MLH1, whereas germ-line mutations in other mismatch repair genes are rare. We examined the frequency of germ-line msh6 mutations in a population-based series of 140 colorectal cancer patients, including 45 sporadic cases, 91 familial non-HNPCC cases, and 4 HNPCC cases. Among the 91 population-based familial non-HNPCC cases, germ-line msh6 mutations were found in 6 patients (7.1% of probands analyzed; median age at diagnosis, 61 years). These mutations included a splice site mutation, a frameshift mutation, two missense mutations that were demonstrated to be loss of function mutations, and two missense mutations for which functional studies were not possible. In contrast, germ-line msh6 mutations were not found in any of the 45 sporadic cases and the 4 HNPCC cases in the population-based series or in the second series of 58 clinic-based, primarily HNPCC families. Our data suggest that germ-line msh6 mutations predispose individuals to primarily late-onset, familial colorectal carcinomas that do not fulfill classic criteria for HNPCC.

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