Fam Cancer 2011 Sep;10(3):515-20
Department of Biosciences, Genetics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 56 (Viikinkaari 5), 00014, Helsinki, Finland.
Inherited pathogenic mutations in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes, MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, and PMS2 predispose to Lynch syndrome (LS). However, the finding of a variant or variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in affected family members complicates the risk assessment. Here, we describe a putative LS family carrying VUS in both MSH2 (c.2768T>A, p.Val923Glu) and MSH6 (c.3563G>A, p.Ser1188Asn). Two colorectal cancer (CRC) patients were studied for mutations and identified as carriers of both variants. In spite of a relatively high mean age of cancer onset (59.5 years) in the family, many CRC patients and the tumor pathological data suggested that the missense variation in MSH2, the more common susceptibility gene in LS, would be the predisposing alteration. However, MSH2 VUS was surprisingly found to be MMR proficient in an in vitro MMR assay and a tolerant alteration in silico. By supplying evidence that instead of MSH2 p.Val923Glu the MSH6 p.Ser1188Asn variant is completely MMR-deficient, the present study confirms the previous findings, and suggests that MSH6 (c.3563G>A, p.Ser1188Asn) is the pathogenic mutation in the family. Moreover, our results strongly support the strategy to functionally assess all identified VUS before predictive gene testing and genetic counseling are offered to a family.