Genome instability quantified in constitutive tissues as well as putatively stable tumor tissue in hereditary non -polyposis colon cancer patients by small pool PCR
Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a hallmark of the mutator phenotype associated with Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC). The MSI-High (MSI-H) HNPCC population has been well characterized, but the microsatellite low and stable (MSI-L/MSS) HNPCC population is much less understood. We hypothesize there are significant levels of MSI in HNPCC DNA classified as MSI-L/MSS, but no single variant allele makes up a sufficient population in the tumor DNA to be detected by standard analysis. Finding variants would suggest there is a mutator phenotype for the MSI-L/MSS HNPCC population that is distinct from the MSI-H HNPCC populations. This study quantified and compared MSI in HNPCC patients previously shown to be MSI-H, MSI-L/MSS and an MSI-H older, sporadic colorectal cancer patient. Small-pool Polymerase Chain Reactions (SP-PCRs) were conducted where the DNAs from each sample and controls are diluted into multiple pools, each containing approximately single genome equivalents. At least 100 alleles/sample were studied at six microsatellite loci. Mutant fragments were identified, quantified, and compared using Poisson statistics. Most of the variants were small deletions or insertions, with more mutants being deletions, as has been previously described in yeast and transgenic mice. SP-PCR, where most of the pools contained only 3 or less fragments, enabled identification of variants too infrequent to be detected by large pool PCR. Mutant fragments in positive control MSI-H tumor samples ranged from 0.26 to 0.68 in at least 4 of the 6 loci tested and were consistent with their MSI-H status. In the so called MSS tumors and constitutive tissues (normal colon tissue, and PBLs) of all the HNPCC patients, low, but significant levels of MSI were seen in at least two of the loci studied. This phenomenon was not seen in the sporadic MSI constitutive tissues nor the normal controls and suggests haploinsufficiency, gain-of-function, or a dominant/negative basis of the instability in HNPCC patients carrying germline mutations for tumor suppressor genes. A different frequency and spectrum of mutant fragments suggests a different genetic basis (other than a major mutation in MLH1 or MSH2) for disease in MSI-L and MSS HNPCC patients.
Coolbaugh-Murphy, Mary Irene, "Genome instability quantified in constitutive tissues as well as putatively stable tumor tissue in hereditary non -polyposis colon cancer patients by small pool PCR" (2003). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3115904.