Mechanisms underlying mismatch repair deficiencies in normal cells

Yuri K. Moliaka, Marina Cella, Alla P. Chudina, Tatiana N. Kolesnikova, Luigi Terracciano, Gieri Cathomas, Nikolay P. Bochkov, Jean Marie Buerstedde

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3 Scopus citations


Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) is an autosomal dominantly inherited cancer predisposition which is linked to heterozygous mutations in mismatch repair genes. HNPCC tumour cells, in which the remaining wild-type copy of the mismatch repair gene is inactivated, display instability of microsatellite markers reflecting a defect in mismatch repair. Recently, patients carrying either one of two distinct germline mutations in the MLHI and PMS2 genes were reported to accumulate somatic mutations of microsatellites in untransformed cells. One of the mechanisms that might account for this phenomenon was a dominant negative effect of the mutant allele. To evaluate this possibility, we examined a different family carrying one of the mutations (deletion of codon 618K in the MLHI gent) which has been suspected to induce genetic instability in untransformed cells. No mutations in dinucleotide repeat markers were observed in a large number of lymphoblast clones derived from a carrier. Evidence for the deletion of the wild-type allele in two different tumours suggested that the inactivation of both gene copies was required for tumour initiation. These results indicate that the MLHI 618K deletion mutation alone does not necessarily cause marked mismatch repair deficiency in the presence of a wild-type allele.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1997


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