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Cancer Res. 2001 Nov 1;61(21):7798-802.

The role of hPMS1 and hPMS2 in predisposing to colorectal cancer.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, S-17176 Stockholm, Sweden.


Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is attributable to a deficiency of mismatch repair. Inactivation of DNA mismatch repair underlies the genesis of microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer. Germline mutations in three DNA mismatch repair genes, hMSH2, hMLH1, and hMSH6, have been found to segregate in HNPCC and HNPCC-like families. The two DNA mismatch repair genes hPMS1 and hPMS2 have also been suggested to predispose to HNPCC. In this study, 84 HNPCC and HNPCC-like kindreds without known mutations in the other three known DNA mismatch repair genes were screened for germline mutations in the hPMS1 or hPMS2 gene. No clear-cut pathogenic mutations were identified. Conversion technology was used to detect a large hMSH2 deletion in two affected members of the kindred in which the hPMS1 mutation was originally reported, whereas the hPMS1 mutation was only present in one of these two individuals. Since the hPMS1 and hPMS2 genes were first reported, germline mutations in hPMS2 have been demonstrated primarily in patients with Turcot's syndrome. However, no mutation in any of the two genes has been found to segregate in HNPCC families. Until there is better evidence for an increased colorectal cancer risk associated with germline mutations in these genes, a conservative interpretation of the role of mutations in these genes is advised.

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