DNA methylation changes and somatic mutations as tumorigenic events in Lynch syndrome-associated adenomas retaining mismatch repair protein expression
Mäki-Nevala, S., Valo, S., Ristimäki, A., Sarhadi, V., Knuutila, S., Nyström, M., . . . Peltomäki, P. (2019). DNA methylation changes and somatic mutations as tumorigenic events in Lynch syndrome-associated adenomas retaining mismatch repair protein expression. EBioMedicine, 39, 280-291. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.12.018
© 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Background DNA mismatch repair (MMR) defects are a major factor in colorectal tumorigenesis in Lynch syndrome (LS) and 15% of sporadic cases. Some adenomas from carriers of inherited MMR gene mutations have intact MMR protein expression implying other mechanisms accelerating tumorigenesis. We determined roles of DNA methylation changes and somatic mutations in cancer-associated genes as tumorigenic events in LS-associated colorectal adenomas with intact MMR. Methods We investigated 122 archival colorectal specimens of normal mucosae, adenomas and carcinomas from 57 LS patients. MMR-deficient (MMR-D, n = 49) and MMR-proficient (MMR-P, n = 18) adenomas were of particular interest and were interrogated by methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and Ion Torrent sequencing. Findings Promoter methylation of CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP)-associated marker genes and selected colorectal cancer (CRC)-associated tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) increased and LINE-1 methylation decreased from normal mucosa to MMR-P adenomas to MMR-D adenomas. Methylation differences were statistically significant when either adenoma group was compared with normal mucosa, but not between MMR-P and MMR-D adenomas. Significantly increased methylation was found in multiple CIMP marker genes (IGF2, NEUROG1, CRABP1, and CDKN2A) and TSGs (SFRP1 and SFRP2) in MMR-P adenomas already. Furthermore, certain CRC-associated somatic mutations, such as KRAS, were prevalent in MMR-P adenomas. Interpretation We conclude that DNA methylation changes and somatic mutations of cancer-associated genes might serve as an alternative pathway accelerating LS-associated tumorigenesis in the presence of proficient MMR. Fund Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Academy of Finland, Cancer Foundation Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and HiLIFE. ...