Targeted next generation sequencing screening of Lynch syndrome in Tunisian population
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A high colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence is observed in Tunisia, with a relatively high proportion of patients developing CRC before the age of 40. While this suggests a genetic susceptibility, only a few Tunisian Lynch Syndrome families have been described. In this study we aimed to identify the underlying genetic cause in 32 patients with early onset CRC and/or a positive family history. Of twenty-four patients’ tumor or biopsies could be analyzed with immunohistochemical staining to detect loss of expression of one of the MMR proteins. Ten tumors showed loss of expression, of which one tumor was from a patient where a germline pathogenic MSH2 variant was detected previously with Sanger sequencing. Next generation sequencing of the MMR, POLE and POLD1 genes was performed in leukocyte and tumor DNA of the remaining nine patients, as well as in two patients with MMR-proficient tumors, but with severe family history. In six of 11 patients a germline variant was detected in MLH1 (n = 5) or MSH2 (n = 1). Two of six patients were from the same family and both were found to carry a novel in-frame MLH1 deletion, predicted to affect MLH1 function. All MLH1 variant carriers had loss of heterozygosity with retention of the variant in the tumors, while a somatic pathogenic variant was detected in the patient with the germline MSH2 variant.
KeywordsLynch syndrome Tumor Immunohistochemical staining DNA mismatch repair genes MMR panel
We thank all team members of Human Cytogenetic, Molecular Genetics and Biology of Reproduction laboratory, Farhat HACHED Hospital Sousse-Tunisia, and the Molecular Diagnostics of the Pathology department of the Leiden University Medical Center. Also, we thank all patients and their families for their contribution and great help.
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