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Oncogene. 1995 Jan 5;10(1):33-7.

Increased mutation rate at the hprt locus accompanies microsatellite instability in colon cancer.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio.


Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC) tumors and some sporadic colon cancers acquire somatic changes in the length of microsatellite sequences. We hypothesized that this 'replication error' (RER) phenotype in these cancers reflects a more general defect which should result in hypermutability of expressed genes. To test this hypothesis mutations of hprt were studied in RER and non-RER tumor cell lines. Increased mutation rates of greater than 100-fold were found in RER compared to non-RER lines. Heterogeneity within the RER group suggests the likely existence of different classes of RER tumors. One non-RER cell line demonstrated a greater than 10-fold increase in mutation rate, suggesting that a novel mutator phenotype may exist in some non-RER tumors.

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