Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bull Cancer. 2010 Nov;97(11):1311-21. doi: 10.1684/bdc.2010.1216.

[Colorectal oncogenesis].

[Article in French]

Author information

Université Paris-Descartes, UMR-S775, Pôle de Biologie, Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou AP-HP, Paris, France.


Recent progress in the field of molecular biology has allowed us to identify at least two different molecular mechanisms implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis (CRC): chromosomal instability (CIN) and genetic instability. Even though the two molecular mechanisms differ, their signalling pathways, implicated in malignant transformation of colonic epithelial cells, appear to be similar. The most frequent group of CRC, which represents 80% of sporadic CRC, is characterized by allelic losses on the short arm of chromosome 17 and 8 and on the long arm of chromosome 5, 18 and 22. These allelic losses are associated with mutations in TP53, APC, SMAD2 and SMAD4 genes. All of these alterations are grouped under the phenotype CIN. A genetic instability termed MSI (microsatellite instability), which results from a mismatch repair (MMR) deficiency, appears in 12-15% of CRC cases. The presence of MMR deficiency leads to the accumulation of mutations in genes controlling cell cycle and apoptosis (TGFBRII, BAX or CASPASE5). More recently, the existence of a third phenotype was suggested. The main alteration associated with this group of tumors is the hypermethylation of the promoter region of numerous genes, leading to their inactivation. An activating mutation of BRAF is frequently associated with this phenotype. As described above, CRC shows genetic heterogeneity, however the consequences in terms of signalling pathway alterations are similar. For example, the activation of Wnt signalling pathways can result from the inactivation of the APC gene in the CIN phenotype or from an activating mutation in the β-catenin gene in MSI tumors. The inactivation of TGFβ pathways is also present in both tumor types and is driven by SMAD4, and more rarely by a SMAD2 inactivating mutation in CIN tumors, or by the existence of a frame-shift mutation occurring in a polyG coding track of the TGFβ (transforming growth factor) receptor type II in MSI tumors. The RAS-MAP kinase pathway is activated by KRAS mutations in CIN tumors or by BRAF mutations in MSI tumors. The p53 pathway is inactivated by TP53 inactivation in CIN tumors or by BAX inactivating mutations in MSI tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Libbey Eurotext
    Loading ...
    Support Center