Background and Aims: Lynch syndrome is caused by germ-line mismatch repair gene mutations. We examined the phenotypic differences between MLH1 and MSH2 gene mutation carriers and whether mutation type (point versus large rearrangement) affected phenotypic expression. Methods: This is a cross-sectional prevalence study of 1,914 unrelated probands undergoing clinical genetic testing for MLH1 and MSH2 mutations at a commercial laboratory. Results: Fifteen percent (285 of 1,914) of subjects had pathogenic mutations (112 MLH1, 173 MSH2). MLH1 carriers had a higher prevalence of colorectal cancer (79% versus 69%, P = 0.08) and younger mean age at diagnosis (42.2 versus 44.8 years, P = 0.03) than MSH2 carriers. Forty-one percent of female carriers had endometrial cancer and prevalence was similar in both groups. Other cancers were more frequent in MSH2 carriers (24% versus 9%, P = 0.001) and their families (P < 0.001). Multivariable analyses confirmed these associations. Of the 1,016 subjects who underwent Southern blot analysis, 42 had large rearrangements (7 MLH1, 35 MSH2). There were no phenotypic differences between carriers with large rearrangements and point mutations. Conclusions: In this large study of mismatch repair gene mutation carriers from the United States, MLH1 carriers had more colorectal cancer than MSH2 carriers whereas endometrial cancer prevalence was similar. Large genomic rearrangements were more frequent in the MSH2 gene. MSH2 carriers and their relatives have more extracolonic nonendometrial Lynch syndrome-associated cancers and may benefit from additional screening. Copyright,
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kastrinos, F, Stoffel, E.M, Balmana, J, Steyerberg, E.W, Mercado, R, & Syngal, S. (2008). Phenotype comparison of MLH1 and MSH2 mutation carriers in a cohort of 1,914 individuals undergoing clinical genetic testing in the United States. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 17(8), 2044–2051. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0301