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Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2016 Nov;2(6):a001032.

Homozygous inactivation of CHEK2 is linked to a familial case of multiple primary lung cancer with accompanying cancers in other organs.

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Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Research Institute, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Osaka 537-8511, Japan.
Department of General Thoracic Surgery, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Osaka 537-8511, Japan.
Department of Tumor Cell Biology, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Nara 630-0101, Japan.
Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


In clinical practice, there are a number of cancer patients with clear family histories, but the patients lack mutations in known familial cancer syndrome genes. Recent advances in genomic technologies have enhanced the possibility of identifying causative genes in such cases. Two siblings, an elder sister and a younger brother, were found to have multiple primary lung cancers at the age of 60. The former subsequently developed breast cancer and had a history of uterine myoma. The latter had initially developed prostate cancer at the age of 59 and had a history of colon cancer. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping revealed that ∼10% of the genomes were homozygous in both patients. Exome sequencing revealed nonsynonymous mutations in five genes in the runs of homozygosity: CHEK2, FCGRT, INPP5J, MYO18B, and SFI1. Evolutionary conservation of primary protein structures suggested the functional importance of the CHEK2 mutation, p.R474C. This mutation altered the tertiary structure of CHK2 by disrupting the salt bridge between p.R474 and p.E394. No such structural changes were observed with the other mutated genes. Subsequent cell-based transfection analysis revealed that CHK2 p.R474C was unstable and scarcely activated. We concluded that the homozygous CHEK2 variant was contributory in this case of familial cancer. Although homozygous inactivation of CHEK2 in mice led to cancers in multiple organs, accumulation of additional human cases is needed to establish its pathogenic role in humans.


neoplasm of the lung

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