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Dis Colon Rectum. 2008 Sep;51(9):1387-94. doi: 10.1007/s10350-008-9212-9. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal cancer is frequently associated with the microsatellite instability pathway.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka, 545-8585, Japan.



Patients with ulcerative colitis have a high risk for the development of colorectal cancer. To understand the molecular mechanisms of the carcinogenesis process of ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal cancer, the genetic alterations in inflamed or neoplastic colon epithelium in ulcerative colitis were analyzed.


Fifty-seven patients with ulcerative colitis were enrolled in this study. Specimens were obtained from the patients randomly at six colonic sites. Each patient was histologically classified according to the worst pathologic finding into cancer, dysplasia, indefinite, and normal cases. Microsatellite instability, mutations of target genes, hypermethylation of the hMLH1 promoter region, and mismatch repair protein expression were analyzed.


High-microsatellite instability was found in 4 of 11 cancer cases (36 percent), 5 of 15 dysplasia cases (33 percent), 5 of 11 indefinite cases (45 percent), and none of 20 normal cases (0 percent). A significant correlation was found between the malignant potential and high-microsatellite instability. A frameshift mutation of transforming growth factor beta receptor Type II (TGFbetaRII) was significantly correlated with worsening histologic grade. High-microsatellite instability was significantly associated with hMLH1 hypermethylation and loss of hMSH2 expression.


The carcinogenesis process in ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal cancer was closely associated with the microsatellite instability pathway through TGFbetaRII mutation by a dysfunction of the mismatch repair system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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