alexa Mismatch repair genes hMLH1 and hMSH2 and colorectal cancer: a HuGE review


Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

Author(s): Mitchell RJ, Farrington SM, Dunlop MG, Campbell H

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Evidence to support a role for the mismatch repair genes human mutL homolog 1 (hMLH1) and human mutS homolog 2 (hMSH2) in the etiology of colorectal cancer has come from linkage analysis, segregation studies, and molecular biologic analysis. More recently, carriers of potentially pathogenic mutations in the hMLH1/hMSH2 genes have consistently been shown to be at a greatly increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with the general population. When considered together, the available evidence shows a strong, consistent, and biologically plausible association between mismatch repair gene mutations and colorectal cancer. The penetrance of mutations in hMLH1/hMSH2 is incomplete and is significantly higher in males (approximately 80%) than in females (approximately 40%). To date, evidence for gene-gene or gene-environment interactions is limited, although preliminary studies have revealed a number of avenues that merit exploration. Population screening for mutation carriers is not currently a feasible option, and mutation analysis remains restricted to either relatives of mutation carriers or colorectal cancer cases selected on the basis of phenotype.

This article was published in Am J Epidemiol. and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis

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