Send to

Choose Destination
Gastroenterology. 2011 Dec;141(6):2039-46. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.08.041. Epub 2011 Sep 3.

Variants in the netrin-1 receptor UNC5C prevent apoptosis and increase risk of familial colorectal cancer.

Author information

Apoptosis, Cancer and Development Laboratory - Equipe Labellisée 'La Ligue,' UMR INSERM 1052 - CNRS 5286, University of Lyon, Lyon, France.



Expression of the netrin-1 dependence receptor UNC5C is reduced in many colorectal tumors; mice with the UNC5C mutations have increased progression of intestinal tumors. We investigated whether specific variants in UNC5C increase risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).


We analyzed the sequence of UNC5C in blood samples from 1801 patients with CRC and 4152 controls from 3 cohorts (France, United States, and Finland). Almost all cases from France and the United States had familial CRC; of the Finnish cases, 92 of 984 were familial. We analyzed whether CRC segregates with the UNC5C variant A628K in 3 families with histories of CRC. We also performed haplotype analysis to determine the origin of this variant.


Of 817 patients with familial CRC, 14 had 1 of 4 different, unreported missense variants in UNC5C. The variants p.Asp353Asn (encodes D353N), p.Arg603Cys (encodes R603C), and p.Gln630Glu (encodes Q630E) did not occur significantly more often in cases than controls. The variant p.Ala628Lys (A628K) was detected in 3 families in the French cohort (odds ratio, 8.8; Wald's 95% confidence interval, 1.47-52.93; P = .03) and in 2 families in the US cohort (odds ratio, 1.9; P = .6) but was not detected in the Finnish cohort; UNC5C A628K segregated with CRC in families. Three families with A628K had a 109-kilobase identical haplotype that spanned most of UNC5C, indicating recent origin of this variant in white subjects (14 generations; 95% confidence interval, 6-36 generations). Transfection of HEK293T cells with UNC5C-A628K significantly reduced apoptosis compared with wild-type UNC5C, measured in an assay of active caspase-3.


Inherited mutations in UNC5C prevent apoptosis and increase risk of CRC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center