In the inherited syndromes, MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), somatic mutations occur due to loss of the caretaker function that base-repair (BER) and mismatch repair (MMR) genes have, respectively. Recently, we identified a large branch from a MSH6 HNPCC family in which 19 family members are heterozygous or compound heterozygous for MUTYH germ line mutations. MSH6/MUTYH heterozygote mutation carriers display a predominant HNPCC molecular tumour phenotype, with microsatellite instability and under-representation of G>T transversions. A single unique patient is carrier of the MSH6 germline mutation and is compound heterozygote for MUTYH. Unexpectedly, this patient has an extremely mild clinical phenotype with sofar only few adenomas at age 56. Four out of five adenomas show characteristic G>T transversions in APC and/or KRAS2, as seen in MUTYH associated polyposis. No second hit of MSH6 is apparent in any of the adenomas, due to retained MSH6 nuclear expression and a lack of microsatellite instability. Although this concerns only one case, we argue that the chance to find an additional one is extremely small and currently a mouse model with this genotype combination is not available. Moreover, the patients brother who is also compound heterozygous for MUTYH but lacks the MSH6 germline mutation presented with a full blown polyposis coli. In conclusion, these data would support the notion that abrogation of both MSH6 DNA mismatch repair and base repair might be mutually exclusive in humans.

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Familial Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Puijenbroek, M., Nielsen, M., Reinards, T., Weiss, M., Wagner, A., Hendriks, Y., … Morreau, H. (2007). The natural history of a combined defect in MSH6 and MUTYH in a HNPCC family. Familial Cancer, 6(1), 43–51. doi:10.1007/s10689-006-9103-y