Gene Summary

Gene:EXO1; exonuclease 1
Aliases: HEX1, hExoI
Summary:This gene encodes a protein with 5' to 3' exonuclease activity as well as an RNase H activity. It is similar to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein Exo1 which interacts with Msh2 and which is involved in mismatch repair and recombination. Alternative splicing of this gene results in three transcript variants encoding two different isoforms. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:exonuclease 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: EXO1 (cancer-related)

Shahi RB, De Brakeleer S, Caljon B, et al.
Identification of candidate cancer predisposing variants by performing whole-exome sequencing on index patients from BRCA1 and BRCA2-negative breast cancer families.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):313 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the majority of familial breast cancer (BC) families, the etiology of the disease remains unresolved. To identify missing BC heritability resulting from relatively rare variants (minor allele frequency ≤ 1%), we have performed whole exome sequencing followed by variant analysis in a virtual panel of 492 cancer-associated genes on BC patients from BRCA1 and BRCA2 negative families with elevated BC risk.
METHODS: BC patients from 54 BRCA1 and BRCA2-negative families with elevated BC risk and 120 matched controls were considered for germline DNA whole exome sequencing. Rare variants identified in the exome and in a virtual panel of cancer-associated genes [492 genes associated with different types of (hereditary) cancer] were compared between BC patients and controls. Nonsense, frame-shift indels and splice-site variants (strong protein-damaging variants, called PDAVs later on) observed in BC patients within the genes of the panel, which we estimated to possess the highest probability to predispose to BC, were further validated using an alternative sequencing procedure.
RESULTS: Exome- and cancer-associated gene panel-wide variant analysis show that there is no significant difference in the average number of rare variants found in BC patients compared to controls. However, the genes in the cancer-associated gene panel with nonsense variants were more than two-fold over-represented in women with BC and commonly involved in the DNA double-strand break repair process. Approximately 44% (24 of 54) of BC patients harbored 31 PDAVs, of which 11 were novel. These variants were found in genes associated with known or suspected BC predisposition (PALB2, BARD1, CHEK2, RAD51C and FANCA) or in predisposing genes linked to other cancer types but not well-studied in the context of familial BC (EXO1, RECQL4, CCNH, MUS81, TDP1, DCLRE1A, DCLRE1C, PDE11A and RINT1) and genes associated with different hereditary syndromes but not yet clearly associated with familial cancer syndromes (ABCC11, BBS10, CD96, CYP1A1, DHCR7, DNAH11, ESCO2, FLT4, HPS6, MYH8, NME8 and TTC8). Exome-wide, only a few genes appeared to be enriched for PDAVs in the familial BC patients compared to controls.
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified a series of novel candidate BC predisposition variants/genes. These variants/genes should be further investigated in larger cohorts/case-control studies. Other studies including co-segregation analyses in affected families, locus-specific loss of heterozygosity and functional studies should shed further light on their relevance for BC risk.

Imtiaz H, Afroz S, Hossain MA, et al.
Genetic polymorphisms in CDH1 and Exo1 genes elevate the prostate cancer risk in Bangladeshi population.
Tumour Biol. 2019; 41(3):1010428319830837 [PubMed] Related Publications
The polymorphisms of invasion suppressor gene CDH1 and DNA mismatch repair gene Exo1 have been reported to play critical role in the development, tumorigenesis, and progression of several kinds of cancers including prostate cancer. This study was designed to analyze the contribution of single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the CDH1 (-160C/A) and Exo1 (K589E) to prostate cancer susceptibility in Bangladeshi population. The study included 100 prostate cancer cases and age-matched 100 healthy controls. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was used to determine the genetic polymorphisms. A significant association was found between CDH1 -160C/A (rs16260) and Exo1 (rs1047840, K589E) polymorphisms and prostate cancer risk. In case of CDH1 -160C/A polymorphism, the frequencies of the three genotypes C/C,C/A, and A/A were 45%, 48%, and 7% in cases and 63%, 32%, and 5% in controls, respectively. The heterozygote C/A genotype and combined C/A + A/A genotypes showed 2.10-fold (odds ratio = 2.1000, 95% confidence interval = 1.2956-4.0905, p = 0.013) and 2.08-fold (odds ratio = 2.0811, 95% confidence interval = 1.1820-3.6641, p = 0.011) increased risk of prostate cancer, respectively, when compared with homozygous C/C genotypes. The variant A allele also was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer (odds ratio = 1.6901, 95% confidence interval = 1.0740-2.6597, p = 0.0233). In case of Exo1 (K589E) polymorphism, G/A heterozygote, A/A homozygote, and combined G/A + A/A genotypes were found to be associated with 2.30-, 4.85-, and 3.04-fold higher risk of prostate cancer, respectively (odds ratio = 2.3021, 95% confidence interval = 2.956-4.0905, p = 0.0031; odds ratio = 4.8462, 95% confidence interval = 1.0198-23.0284, p = 0.0291; OR = 3.0362, 95% confidence interval = 1.7054-5.4053, p = 0.0001, respectively). The "A" allele showed significant association with increased susceptibility (2.29-fold) to prostate cancer (odds ratio = 2.2955, 95% confidence interval = 1.4529-3.6270, p = 0.0004). Our results suggest that CDH1 -160C/A and Exo1 K589E polymorphisms are associated with increased susceptibility to prostate cancer in Bangladeshi population.

Madi A, Fisher D, Maughan TS, et al.
Pharmacogenetic analyses of 2183 patients with advanced colorectal cancer; potential role for common dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase variants in toxicity to chemotherapy.
Eur J Cancer. 2018; 102:31-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inherited genetic variants may influence response to, and side-effects from, chemotherapy. We sought to generate a comprehensive inherited pharmacogenetic profile for oxaliplatin and 5FU/capecitabine therapy in advanced colorectal cancer (aCRC).
METHODS: We analysed more than 200 potentially functional, common, inherited variants in genes within the 5FU, capecitabine, oxaliplatin and DNA repair pathways, together with four rare dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) variants, in 2183 aCRC patients treated with oxaliplatin-fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy with, or without, cetuximab (from MRC COIN and COIN-B trials). Primary end-points were response, any toxicity and peripheral neuropathy. We had >85% power to detect odds ratios (ORs) = 1.3 for variants with minor allele frequencies >20%.
RESULTS: Variants in DNA repair genes (Asn279Ser in EXO1 and Arg399Gln in XRCC1) were most associated with response (OR 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-2.9, P = 0.004, and OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.5-0.9, P = 0.003, respectively). Common variants in DPYD (Cys29Arg and Val732Ile) were most associated with toxicity (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7-1.0, P = 0.008, and OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.1, P = 0.006, respectively). Two rare DPYD variants were associated with increased toxicity (Asp949Val with neutropenia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea and infection; IVS14+1G>A with lethargy, diarrhoea, stomatitis, hand-foot syndrome and infection; all ORs > 3). Asp317His in DCLRE1A was most associated with peripheral neuropathy (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6, P = 0.003). No common variant associations remained significant after Bonferroni correction.
CONCLUSIONS: DNA repair genes may play a significant role in the pharmacogenetics of aCRC. Our data suggest that both common and rare DPYD variants may be associated with toxicity to fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy.

Das R, Kundu S, Laskar S, et al.
Assessment of DNA repair susceptibility genes identified by whole exome sequencing in head and neck cancer.
DNA Repair (Amst). 2018 Jun - Jul; 66-67:50-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck cancer (HNC), the sixth most common cancer globally, stands second in India. In Northeast (NE) India, it is the sixth most common cause of death in males and seventh in females. Prolonged tobacco and alcohol consumption constitute the major etiological factors for HNC development, which induce DNA damage. Therefore, DNA repair pathway is a crucial system in maintaining genomic integrity and preventing carcinogenesis. The present work was aimed to predict the consequence of significant germline variants of the DNA repair genes in disease predisposition. Whole exome sequencing was performed in Ion Proton™ platform on 15 case-control samples from the HNC-prevalent states of Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland. Variant annotation was done in Ion Reporter™ as well as wANNOVAR. Subsequent statistical and bioinformatics analysis identified significant exonic and intronic variants associated with HNC. Amongst our observed variants, 78.6% occurred in ExAC, 94% reported in dbSNP and 5.8% & 9.3% variants were present in ClinVar and HGMD, respectively. The total variants were dispersed among 199 genes with DSBR and FA pathway being the most mutated pathways. The allelic association test suggested that the intronic variants in HLTF and RAD52 gene significantly associated (P < 0.05) with the risk (OR > 5), while intronic variants in PARP4, RECQL5, EXO1 and PER1 genes and exonic variant in TDP2 gene showed protection (OR < 1) for HNC. MDR analysis proposed the exonic variants in MSH6, BRCA2, PALB2 and TP53 genes and intronic variant in RECQL5 genetic region working together during certain phase of DNA repair mechanism for HNC causation. In addition, other intronic and 3'UTR variations caused modifications in the transcription factor binding sites and miRNA target sites associated with HNC. Large-scale validation in NE Indian population, in-depth structure prediction and subsequent simulation of our recognized polymorphisms is necessary to identify true causal variants related to HNC.

Ciavarella M, Miccoli S, Prossomariti A, et al.
Somatic APC mosaicism and oligogenic inheritance in genetically unsolved colorectal adenomatous polyposis patients.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2018; 26(3):387-395 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Germline variants in the APC gene cause familial adenomatous polyposis. Inherited variants in MutYH, POLE, POLD1, NTHL1, and MSH3 genes and somatic APC mosaicism have been reported as alternative causes of polyposis. However, ~30-50% of cases of polyposis remain genetically unsolved. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the genetic causes of unexplained adenomatous polyposis. Eight sporadic cases with >20 adenomatous polyps by 35 years of age or >50 adenomatous polyps by 55 years of age, and no causative germline variants in APC and/or MutYH, were enrolled from a cohort of 56 subjects with adenomatous colorectal polyposis. APC gene mosaicism was investigated on DNA from colonic adenomas by Sanger sequencing or Whole Exome Sequencing (WES). Mosaicism extension to other tissues (peripheral blood, saliva, hair follicles) was evaluated using Sanger sequencing and/or digital PCR. APC second hit was investigated in adenomas from mosaic patients. WES was performed on DNA from peripheral blood to identify additional polyposis candidate variants. We identified APC mosaicism in 50% of patients. In three cases mosaicism was restricted to the colon, while in one it also extended to the duodenum and saliva. One patient without APC mosaicism, carrying an APC in-frame deletion of uncertain significance, was found to harbor rare germline variants in OGG1, POLQ, and EXO1 genes. In conclusion, our restrictive selection criteria improved the detection of mosaic APC patients. In addition, we showed for the first time that an oligogenic inheritance of rare variants might have a cooperative role in sporadic colorectal polyposis onset.

de Sousa JF, Torrieri R, Serafim RB, et al.
Expression signatures of DNA repair genes correlate with survival prognosis of astrocytoma patients.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(4):1010428317694552 [PubMed] Related Publications
Astrocytomas are the most common primary brain tumors. They are very resistant to therapies and usually progress rapidly to high-grade lesions. Here, we investigated the potential role of DNA repair genes in astrocytoma progression and resistance. To this aim, we performed a polymerase chain reaction array-based analysis focused on DNA repair genes and searched for correlations between expression patters and survival prognoses. We found 19 genes significantly altered. Combining these genes in all possible arrangements, we found 421 expression signatures strongly associated with poor survival. Importantly, five genes (DDB2, EXO1, NEIL3, BRCA2, and BRIP1) were independently correlated with worse prognoses, revealing single-gene signatures. Moreover, silencing of EXO1, which is remarkably overexpressed, promoted faster restoration of double-strand breaks, while NEIL3 knockdown, also highly overexpressed, caused an increment in DNA damage and cell death after irradiation of glioblastoma cells. These results disclose the importance of DNA repair pathways for the maintenance of genomic stability of high-grade astrocytomas and suggest that EXO1 and NEIL3 overexpression confers more efficiency for double-strand break repair and resistance to reactive oxygen species, respectively. Thereby, we highlight these two genes as potentially related with tumor aggressiveness and promising candidates as novel therapeutic targets.

Trubicka J, Żemojtel T, Hecht J, et al.
The germline variants in DNA repair genes in pediatric medulloblastoma: a challenge for current therapeutic strategies.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):239 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The defects in DNA repair genes are potentially linked to development and response to therapy in medulloblastoma. Therefore the purpose of this study was to establish the spectrum and frequency of germline variants in selected DNA repair genes and their impact on response to chemotherapy in medulloblastoma patients.
METHODS: The following genes were investigated in 102 paediatric patients: MSH2 and RAD50 using targeted gene panel sequencing and NBN variants (p.I171V and p.K219fs*19) by Sanger sequencing. In three patients with presence of rare life-threatening adverse events (AE) and no detected variants in the analyzed genes, whole exome sequencing was performed. Based on combination of molecular and immunohistochemical evaluations tumors were divided into molecular subgroups. Presence of variants was tested for potential association with the occurrence of rare life-threatening AE and other clinical features.
RESULTS: We have identified altogether six new potentially pathogenic variants in MSH2 (p.A733T and p.V606I), RAD50 (p.R1093*), FANCM (p.L694*), ERCC2 (p.R695C) and EXO1 (p.V738L), in addition to two known NBN variants. Five out of twelve patients with defects in either of MSH2, RAD50 and NBN genes suffered from rare life-threatening AE, more frequently than in control group (p = 0.0005). When all detected variants were taken into account, the majority of patients (8 out of 15) suffered from life-threatening toxicity during chemotherapy.
CONCLUSION: Our results, based on the largest systematic study performed in a clinical setting, provide preliminary evidence for a link between defects in DNA repair genes and treatment related toxicity in children with medulloblastoma. The data suggest that patients with DNA repair gene variants could need special vigilance during and after courses of chemotherapy.

Erdal E, Haider S, Rehwinkel J, et al.
A prosurvival DNA damage-induced cytoplasmic interferon response is mediated by end resection factors and is limited by Trex1.
Genes Dev. 2017; 31(4):353-369 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are effective treatment methods for many types of cancer, but resistance is common. Recent findings indicate that antiviral type I interferon (IFN) signaling is induced by these treatments. However, the underlying mechanisms still need to be elucidated. Expression of a set of IFN-stimulated genes comprises an IFN-related DNA damage resistance signature (IRDS), which correlates strongly with resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy across different tumors. Classically, during viral infection, the presence of foreign DNA in the cytoplasm of host cells can initiate type I IFN signaling. Here, we demonstrate that DNA-damaging modalities used during cancer therapy lead to the release of ssDNA fragments from the cell nucleus into the cytosol, engaging this innate immune response. We found that the factors that control DNA end resection during double-strand break repair, including the Bloom syndrome (BLM) helicase and exonuclease 1 (EXO1), play a major role in generating these DNA fragments and that the cytoplasmic 3'-5' exonuclease Trex1 is required for their degradation. Analysis of mRNA expression profiles in breast tumors demonstrates that those with lower Trex1 and higher BLM and EXO1 expression levels are associated with poor prognosis. Targeting BLM and EXO1 could therefore represent a novel approach for circumventing the IRDS produced in response to cancer therapeutics.

Song H, Wu F, Li S, et al.
Microarray expression analysis of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells after inhibition of CDK2.
Neoplasma. 2017; 64(3):351-357 [PubMed] Related Publications
The study aimed to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of CDK2 inhibition in neuroblastoma by bioinformatics analysis. Gene expression profile GSE16480 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified from IMR32 between each time point and average expression of all time points. Gene significance was calculated using dSVDsig algorithm of dnet package. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was built. Then, integrated with gene significance, a core PPI network was detected by dNetPipeline algorithm in dnet package. Finally, pathway enrichment analysis was performed for genes in network. Totally, 1524 DEGs were identified. CCNA2 (cyclin A2), EXO1 (exonuclease 1), RAD51AP1 (RAD51 associated protein 1), TOP2A (topoisomerase (DNA) II alpha) and CDK1 (cyclin-dependent kinase 1) were selected as DEGs with higher connectivity after PPI network analysis. In the network, CCNA2, CDK1, BUB1B (BUB1 mitotic checkpoint serine/threonine kinase B) and CCNB1 (cyclin B1) were involved in cell cycle pathway. Additionally, CCNB1, CDK1, CCNE2 (Cyclin E2), and RRM2B (ribonucleotide reductase subunit M2B) were involved in p53 signaling pathway. Cell cycle and p53 signaling pathway were closely associated with neuroblastoma after CDK2 inhibition. The DEGs, such as CCNA2, CCNB1, CDK1 and RRM2B may be the potential targets for neuroblastoma.

Zanusso C, Bortolus R, Dreussi E, et al.
Impact of DNA repair gene polymorphisms on the risk of biochemical recurrence after radiotherapy and overall survival in prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(14):22863-22875 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The identification of biomarkers of biochemical recurrence (BCR) in prostate cancer (PCa) patients undergoing radiotherapy (RT) represents an unanswered clinical issue. The primary aim of this study was the definition of new genetic prognostic biomarkers in DNA repair genes (DRGs), considering both BCR and overall survival (OS) as clinical end-points. The secondary aim was to explore the potential clinical impact of these genetic variants with the decision curve analysis (DCA) and the sensitivity analysis.We analyzed 22 germline polymorphisms in 14 DRGs on 542 Caucasian PCa patients treated with RT as primary therapy. Significant associations were further tested with a bootstrapping technique. According to our analyses, ERCC2-rs1799793 and EXO1-rs4149963 were significantly associated with BCR (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01, respectively). Moreover, MSH6-rs3136228 was associated with a worse OS (p = 0.04). Nonetheless, the DCA and the sensitivity analyses gave no ultimate response about the clinical impact of such variants.This study highlights the potential prognostic role of polymorphisms in DRGs for PCa, paving the way to the introduction of not invasive tools for the personalization of patients management. Nonetheless, other prospective studies are necessary to ultimately clarify the clinical impact of pharmacogenetics in PCa.

Li R, Gu J, Heymach JV, et al.
Hypoxia pathway genetic variants predict survival of non-small-cell lung cancer patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.
Carcinogenesis. 2017; 38(4):419-424 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypoxia is a hallmark of solid tumors and has been implicated in the development of advanced disease and poor clinical outcome. In this multi-stage study, we aimed to assess whether genetic variations in hypoxia pathway genes might affect overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We genotyped 598 potentially functional and tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 42 genes of the hypoxia pathway in 602 advanced stage NSCLC patients who received platinum-based chemotherapy or chemoradiation (discovery phase). Significant SNPs were validated in an additional 278 advanced stage patients (validation phase). Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of each SNP with OS. Results showed in chemotherapy only group the median survival time (MST) of NSCLC patients with RPA1: rs2270412 AA+GA genotype versus GG genotype was 10.5 versus 12.7 month [P = 0.004, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.16-1.74, combined set]. The MST of patients with EXO1: rs9350 GA+AA genotype versus GG genotypes was 13.2 months versus 11.5 months (P = 0.009, HR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.56-0.87, combined set). Patients harboring two unfavorable genotypes had a 2.02-fold increased risk of death (P = 3.16E-6) and chemoradiation would improve survival for them (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.51-1.10, P = 0.27, combined set). The MST for patients with 0, 1, and 2 unfavorable genotypes was 13.2, 12.7 and 8.9 months, respectively (P = 0.0002, combined set). In summary, two variants in RPA1 and EXO1 were associated with poor survival in NSCLC patients treated by platinum-based chemotherapy. Adding radiotherapy could improve survival in patients harboring these risk genotypes.

Tan S, Qin R, Zhu X, et al.
Associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms of human exonuclease 1 and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(52):87180-87193 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human exonuclease 1 (hEXO1) is an important nuclease involved in mismatch repair system that contributes to maintain genomic stability and modulate DNA recombination. This study is aimed to explore the associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of hEXO1 and the hereditary susceptibility of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). SNPs rs1047840, rs1776148, rs3754093, rs4149867, rs4149963, and rs1776181 of hEXO1 were examined from a hospital-based case-control study including 1,196 cases (HCC patients) and 1,199 controls (non-HCC patients) in Guangxi, China. We found the rs3754093 AG genotype decreased the risk of HCC (OR=0.714, 95% CI: 0.539~0.946). According to the results of stratification analysis, rs3754093 mutant genotype AG/GG decreased the risk of HCC with some HCC protective factors such as non-smoking, non-alcohol consumption and non-HCC family history, but also decreased the risk of HCC with HBV infection. Moreover, it was correlated to non-tumor metastasis and increased the survival of HCC patients. The results from gene-environment interaction assay indicated all hEXO1 SNPs interacted with smoking, alcohol consumption, HBV infection in pathogenesis of HCC. However, gene-gene interaction assay suggested the interaction between rs3754093 and other 5 SNPs were associated with reducing the HCC risk. These results suggest rs3754093 exhibits a protective activity to decrease the incidence risk of HCC in Guangxi, China. In addition, all SNPs in this study interacted with environment risk factors in pathogenesis of HCC.

Wang X, Wang SS, Zhou L, et al.
A network-pathway based module identification for predicting the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients.
J Ovarian Res. 2016; 9(1):73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to screen multiple genes biomarkers based on gene expression data for predicting the survival of ovarian cancer patients.
METHODS: Two microarray data of ovarian cancer samples were collected from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. The data in the training set were used to construct Reactome functional interactions network, which then underwent Markov clustering, supervised principal components, Cox proportional hazard model to screen significantly prognosis related modules. The distinguishing ability of each module for survival was further evaluated by the testing set. Gene Ontology (GO) functional and pathway annotations were performed to identify the roles of genes in each module for ovarian cancer.
RESULTS: The network based approach identified two 7-gene functional interaction modules (31: DCLRE1A, EXO1, KIAA0101, KIN, PCNA, POLD3, POLD2; 35: DKK3, FABP3, IRF1, AIM2, GBP1, GBP2, IRF2) that are associated with prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. These network modules are related to DNA repair, replication, immune and cytokine mediated signaling pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: The two 7-gene expression signatures may be accurate predictors of clinical outcome in patients with ovarian cancer and has the potential to develop new therapeutic strategies for ovarian cancer patients.

Keijzers G, Liu D, Rasmussen LJ
Exonuclease 1 and its versatile roles in DNA repair.
Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2016 Nov/Dec; 51(6):440-451 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exonuclease 1 (EXO1) is a multifunctional 5' → 3' exonuclease and a DNA structure-specific DNA endonuclease. EXO1 plays roles in DNA replication, DNA mismatch repair (MMR) and DNA double-stranded break repair (DSBR) in lower and higher eukaryotes and contributes to meiosis, immunoglobulin maturation, and micro-mediated end-joining in higher eukaryotes. In human cells, EXO1 is also thought to play a role in telomere maintenance. Mutations in the human EXO1 gene correlate with increased susceptibility to some cancers. This review summarizes recent studies on the enzymatic functions and biological roles of EXO1, its possible protective role against cancer and aging, and regulation of EXO1 by posttranslational modification.

Yong KJ, Milenic DE, Baidoo KE, Brechbiel MW
Cell Killing Mechanisms and Impact on Gene Expression by Gemcitabine and 212Pb-Trastuzumab Treatment in a Disseminated i.p. Tumor Model.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(7):e0159904 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In pre-clinical studies, combination therapy with gemcitabine and targeted radioimmunotherapy (RIT) using 212Pb-trastuzumab showed tremendous therapeutic potential in the LS-174T tumor xenograft model of disseminated intraperitoneal disease. To better understand the underlying molecular basis for the observed cell killing efficacy, gene expression profiling was performed after a 24 h exposure to 212Pb-trastuzumab upon gemcitabine (Gem) pre-treatment in this model. DNA damage response genes in tumors were quantified using a real time quantitative PCR array (qRT-PCR array) covering 84 genes. The combination of Gem with α-radiation resulted in the differential expression of apoptotic genes (BRCA1, CIDEA, GADD45α, GADD45γ, IP6K3, PCBP4, RAD21, and p73), cell cycle regulatory genes (BRCA1, CHK1, CHK2, FANCG, GADD45α, GTSE1, PCBP4, MAP2K6, NBN, PCBP4, and SESN1), and damaged DNA binding and repair genes (BRCA1, BTG2, DMC1, ERCC1, EXO1, FANCG, FEN1, MSH2, MSH3, NBN, NTHL1, OGG1, PRKDC, RAD18, RAD21, RAD51B, SEMA4G, p73, UNG, XPC, and XRCC2). Of these genes, the expression of CHK1, GTSE1, EXO1, FANCG, RAD18, UNG and XRCC2 were specific to Gem/212Pb-trastuzumab administration. In addition, the present study demonstrates that increased stressful growth arrest conditions induced by Gem/212Pb-trastuzumab could suppress cell proliferation possibly by up-regulating genes involved in apoptosis such as p73, by down-regulating genes involved in cell cycle check point such as CHK1, and in damaged DNA repair such as RAD51 paralogs. These events may be mediated by genes such as BRCA1/MSH2, a member of BARC (BRCA-associated genome surveillance complex). The data suggest that up-regulation of genes involved in apoptosis, perturbation of checkpoint genes, and a failure to correctly perform HR-mediated DSB repair and mismatch-mediated SSB repair may correlate with the previously observed inability to maintain the G2/M arrest, leading to cell death.

An J, Wu M, Xin X, et al.
Inflammatory related gene IKKα, IKKβ, IKKγ cooperates to determine liver cancer stem cells progression by altering telomere via heterochromatin protein 1-HOTAIR axis.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(31):50131-50149 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer stem cells are associated with tumor recurrence. IKK is a protein kinase that is composed of IKKα, IKKβ, IKKγ. Herein, we demonstrate that IKKα plus IKKβ promoted and IKKγ inhibited liver cancer stem cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, IKKα plus IKKβ enhanced and IKKγ inhibited the interplay among HP1α, HP1β and HP1γ that competes for the interaction among HP1α, SUZ12, HEZ2. Therefore, IKKα plus IKKβ inhibited and IKKγ enhanced the activity of H3K27 methyltransferase SUZ12 and EZH2, which methylates H3K27 immediately sites on HOTAIR promoter region. Therefore, IKKα plus IKKβ increased and IKKγ decreased the HOTAIR expression. Strikingly, IKKα plus IKKβ decreases and IKKγ increases the HP1α interplays with DNA methyltransferase DNMT3b, which increases or decreases TERRA promoter DNA methylation. Thus IKKα plus IKKβ reduces and IKKγ increases to recruit TRF1 and RNA polymerase II deposition and elongation on the TERRA promoter locus, which increases or decreases TERRA expression. Furthermore, IKKα plus IKKβ decreases/increases and IKKγ increases/decreases the interplay between TERT and TRRRA/between TERT and TREC. Ultimately, IKKα plus IKKβ increases and IKKγ decreases the telomerase activity. On the other hand, at the telomere locus, IKKα plus IKKβ increases/drcreases and IKKγ decreases/increases TRF2, POT1, pPOT1, Exo1, pExo1, SNM1B, pSNM1B/CST-AAF binding, which keep active telomere regulatory genes and poised for telomere length. Strikingly, HOTAIR is required for IKKα plus IKKβ and IKKγ to control telomerase activity and telomere length. These observations suggest that HOTAIR operates the action of IKKα, IKKβ, IKKγ in liver cancer stem cells. This study provides a novel basis to elucidate the oncogenic action of IKKα, IKKβ, IKKγ and prompts that IKKα, IKKβ, IKKγ cooperate to HOTAR to be used as a novel therapeutic targets for liver cancer.

Takai H, Jenkinson E, Kabir S, et al.
A POT1 mutation implicates defective telomere end fill-in and telomere truncations in Coats plus.
Genes Dev. 2016; 30(7):812-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Coats plus (CP) can be caused by mutations in the CTC1 component of CST, which promotes polymerase α (polα)/primase-dependent fill-in throughout the genome and at telomeres. The cellular pathology relating to CP has not been established. We identified a homozygous POT1 S322L substitution (POT1(CP)) in two siblings with CP. POT1(CP)induced a proliferative arrest that could be bypassed by telomerase. POT1(CP)was expressed at normal levels, bound TPP1 and telomeres, and blocked ATR signaling. POT1(CP)was defective in regulating telomerase, leading to telomere elongation rather than the telomere shortening observed in other telomeropathies. POT1(CP)was also defective in the maintenance of the telomeric C strand, causing extended 3' overhangs and stochastic telomere truncations that could be healed by telomerase. Consistent with shortening of the telomeric C strand, metaphase chromosomes showed loss of telomeres synthesized by leading strand DNA synthesis. We propose that CP is caused by a defect in POT1/CST-dependent telomere fill-in. We further propose that deficiency in the fill-in step generates truncated telomeres that halt proliferation in cells lacking telomerase, whereas, in tissues expressing telomerase (e.g., bone marrow), the truncations are healed. The proposed etiology can explain why CP presents with features distinct from those associated with telomerase defects (e.g., dyskeratosis congenita).

Talseth-Palmer BA, Bauer DC, Sjursen W, et al.
Targeted next-generation sequencing of 22 mismatch repair genes identifies Lynch syndrome families.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(5):929-41 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Causative germline mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes can only be identified in ~50% of families with a clinical diagnosis of the inherited colorectal cancer (CRC) syndrome hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)/Lynch syndrome (LS). Identification of these patients are critical as they are at substantially increased risk of developing multiple primary tumors, mainly colorectal and endometrial cancer (EC), occurring at a young age. This demonstrates the need to develop new and/or more thorough mutation detection approaches. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to screen 22 genes involved in the DNA MMR pathway in constitutional DNA from 14 HNPCC and 12 sporadic EC patients, plus 2 positive controls. Several softwares were used for analysis and functional annotation. We identified 5 exonic indel variants, 42 exonic nonsynonymous single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) and 1 intronic variant of significance. Three of these variants were class 5 (pathogenic) or class 4 (likely pathogenic), 5 were class 3 (uncertain clinical relevance) and 40 were classified as variants of unknown clinical significance. In conclusion, we have identified two LS families from the sporadic EC patients, one without a family history of cancer, supporting the notion for universal MMR screening of EC patients. In addition, we have detected three novel class 3 variants in EC cases. We have, in addition discovered a polygenic interaction which is the most likely cause of cancer development in a HNPCC patient that could explain previous inconsistent results reported on an intronic EXO1 variant.

Tkáč J, Xu G, Adhikary H, et al.
HELB Is a Feedback Inhibitor of DNA End Resection.
Mol Cell. 2016; 61(3):405-418 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA double-strand break repair by homologous recombination is initiated by the formation of 3' single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) overhangs by a process termed end resection. Although much focus has been given to the decision to initiate resection, little is known of the mechanisms that regulate the ongoing formation of ssDNA tails. Here we report that DNA helicase B (HELB) underpins a feedback inhibition mechanism that curtails resection. HELB is recruited to ssDNA by interacting with RPA and uses its 5'-3' ssDNA translocase activity to inhibit EXO1 and BLM-DNA2, the nucleases catalyzing resection. HELB acts independently of 53BP1 and is exported from the nucleus as cells approach S phase, concomitant with the upregulation of resection. Consistent with its role as a resection antagonist, loss of HELB results in PARP inhibitor resistance in BRCA1-deficient tumor cells. We conclude that mammalian DNA end resection triggers its own inhibition via the recruitment of HELB.

Shinozuka K, Tang H, Jones RB, et al.
Impact of Polymorphic Variations of Gemcitabine Metabolism, DNA Damage Repair, and Drug-Resistance Genes on the Effect of High-Dose Chemotherapy for Relapsed or Refractory Lymphoid Malignancies.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016; 22(5):843-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The goal of this study was to determine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in gemcitabine metabolism, DNA damage repair, multidrug resistance, and alkylator detoxification influence the clinical outcome of patients with refractory/relapsed lymphoid malignancies receiving high-dose gemcitabine/busulfan/melphalan (Gem/Bu/Mel) with autologous stem cell support. We evaluated 21 germline SNPs of the gemcitabine metabolism genes CDA, deoxycytidine kinase, and hCNT3; DNA damage repair genes RECQL, X-ray repair complementing 1, RAD54L, ATM, ATR, MLH1, MSH2, MSH3, TREX1, EXO1, and TP73; and multidrug-resistance genes MRP2 and MRP5; as well as glutathione-S-transferase GSTP1 in 153 patients with relapsed or refractory lymphoma or myeloma receiving Gem/Bu/Mel. We studied the association of genotypes with overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and nonhematological grade 3 or 4 toxicity. CDA C111T and TREX1 Ex14-460C>T genotypes had a significant effect on OS (P = .007 and P = .005, respectively), and CDA C111T, ATR C340T, and EXO1 P757L genotypes were significant predictors for severe toxicity (P = .037, P = .024, and P = .025, respectively) in multivariable models that adjusted for clinical variables. The multi-SNP risk score analysis identified the combined genotypes of TREX1 Ex14-460 TT and hCNT3 Ex5 +25A>G AA as significant predictors for OS and the combination of MRP2 Ex10 + 40GG/GA and MLH1 IVS12-169 TT as significant predictor for PFS. Polymorphic variants of certain genes involved in gemcitabine metabolism and DNA damage repair pathways may be potential biomarkers for clinical outcome in patients with refractory/relapsed lymphoid tumors receiving Gem/Bu/Mel.

Zhu H, Li X, Zhang X, et al.
Polymorphisms in mismatch repair genes are associated with risk and microsatellite instability of gastric cancer, and interact with life exposures.
Gene. 2016; 579(1):52-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epigenetic alterations of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes are associated with risk of gastric cancer (GC) by causing microsatellite instability (MSI). Less understood is the association of common polymorphisms in MMR genes with the risk and MSI phenotype of GC.
METHODS: A hospital-based study was conducted in China with 423 cases and 454 matched controls. Four potentially functional polymorphisms were selected and analyzed: rs1800734 in MLH1, rs2303428 in MSH2, rs735943 in EXO1, and rs11797 in TREX1.
RESULTS: The rs1800734 G-allele was associated with decreased risk of GC (GA or GG vs AA, OR=0.72; 95% CI: 0.50-1.05; Ptrend=0.029). For combined effects, a dose-response manner was observed in which GC risk was increased with increasing number of at-risk genotypes (Ptrend=0.039); this manner mainly existed in MSI GC (Ptrend=0.047) rather than in microsatellite stability GC, though neither single polymorphism was linked with MSI. For exposures, modified effects were observed from green tea drinking and soy foods intake on rs11797 (P for interaction=0.007 and 0.016, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: The MLH1 rs1800734 polymorphism is associated with GC risk. Those at-risk genotypes have a joint effect on GC risk, which contributes to the MSI phenotype of GC. Life exposures modify GC risk, stratified by MMR genotypes.

Véquaud E, Desplanques G, Jézéquel P, et al.
Survivin contributes to DNA repair by homologous recombination in breast cancer cells.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016; 155(1):53-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Survivin overexpression, frequently found in breast cancers and others, is associated with poor prognosis. Its dual regulation of cell division and apoptosis makes it an attractive therapeutic target but its exact functions that are required for tumor maintenance are still elusive. Survivin protects cancer cells from genotoxic agents and this ability is generally assigned to a universal anti-apoptotic function. However, a specific role in cancer cell protection from DNA damage has been overlooked so far. We assessed DNA damage occurrence in Survivin-depleted breast cancer cells using γH2AX staining and comete assay. QPCR data and a gene conversion assay indicated that homologous recombination (HR) was impaired upon Survivin depletion. We conducted the analysis of Survivin and HR genes' expression in breast tumors. We revealed BRCAness phenotype of Survivin-depleted cells using cell death assays combined to PARP targeting. Survivin silencing leads to DNA double-strand breaks in breast cancer cells and functionally reduces HR. Survivin depletion decreases the transcription of a set of genes involved in HR, decreases RAD51 protein expression and impairs the endonuclease complex MUS81/EME1 involved in the resolution of Holliday junctions. Clinically, EME1, RAD51, EXO1, BLM expressions correlate with that of BIRC5 (coding for Survivin) and are of prognostic value. Functionally, Survivin depletion triggers p53 activation and sensitizes cancer cells to of PARP inhibition. We defined Survivin as a constitutive actor of HR in breast cancers, and implies that its inhibition would enhance cell vulnerability upon PARP inhibition.

Kabzinski J, Mucha B, Cuchra M, et al.
Efficiency of Base Excision Repair of Oxidative DNA Damage and Its Impact on the Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Polish Population.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016; 2016:3125989 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
DNA oxidative lesions are widely considered as a potential risk factor for colorectal cancer development. The aim of this work was to determine the role of the efficiency of base excision repair, both in lymphocytes and in epithelial tissue, in patients with CRC and healthy subjects. SNPs were identified within genes responsible for steps following glycosylase action in BER, and patients and healthy subjects were genotyped. A radioisotopic BER assay was used for assessing repair efficiency and TaqMan for genotyping. Decreased BER activity was observed in lymphocyte extract from CRC patients and in cancer tissue extract, compared to healthy subjects. In addition, polymorphisms of EXO1, LIG3, and PolB may modulate the risk of colorectal cancer by decreasing (PolB) or increasing (LIG3 and EXO1) the chance of malignant transformation.

Zhang Y, Li P, Xu A, et al.
Influence of a single-nucleotide polymorphism of the DNA mismatch repair-related gene exonuclease-1 (rs9350) with prostate cancer risk among Chinese people.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6653-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we aimed to identify the influence of exonuclease 1 (EXO1) single-nucleotide polymorphism rs9350, which is involved in DNA mismatch repair, on prostate cancer risk in Chinese people. In our hospital-based case-control study, 214 prostate cancer patients and 253 cancer-free control subjects were enrolled from three hospitals in China. Genotyping for rs9350 was performed by the SNaPshot(®) method using peripheral blood samples. Consequently, a significantly higher prostate cancer risk was observed in patients with the CC genotype [odds ratio (OR) = 1.678, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.130-2.494, P = 0.010] than in those with the CT genotype. Further, the CT/TT genotypes were significantly associated with increased prostate cancer risk (adjusted OR = 1.714, 95 % CI = 1.176-2.500, P = 0.005), and the C allele had a statistically significant compared with T allele (P = 0.009) of EXO1 (rs9350). Through stratified analysis, significant associations were revealed for the CT/TT genotype in the subgroup with diagnosis age >72 (adjusted OR = 1.776, 95 % CI = 1.051-3.002, P = 0.032) and in patients with localized disease subgroup (adjusted OR = 1.798, 95 % CI = 1.070-3.022, P = 0.027). In addition, we observed that patients with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels of ≤10 ng/mL were more likely to have the CT/TT genotypes than those with PSA levels of >10 ng/mL (P = 0.006). For the first time, we present evidence that the inherited EXO1 polymorphism rs9350 may have a substantial influence on prostate cancer risk in Chinese people. We believe that the rs9350 could be a useful biomarker for assessing predisposition for and early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Lawrenson K, Iversen ES, Tyrer J, et al.
Common variants at the CHEK2 gene locus and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(11):1341-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies have identified 20 genomic regions associated with risk of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), but many additional risk variants may exist. Here, we evaluated associations between common genetic variants [single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and indels] in DNA repair genes and EOC risk. We genotyped 2896 common variants at 143 gene loci in DNA samples from 15 397 patients with invasive EOC and controls. We found evidence of associations with EOC risk for variants at FANCA, EXO1, E2F4, E2F2, CREB5 and CHEK2 genes (P ≤ 0.001). The strongest risk association was for CHEK2 SNP rs17507066 with serous EOC (P = 4.74 x 10(-7)). Additional genotyping and imputation of genotypes from the 1000 genomes project identified a slightly more significant association for CHEK2 SNP rs6005807 (r (2) with rs17507066 = 0.84, odds ratio (OR) 1.17, 95% CI 1.11-1.24, P = 1.1×10(-7)). We identified 293 variants in the region with likelihood ratios of less than 1:100 for representing the causal variant. Functional annotation identified 25 candidate SNPs that alter transcription factor binding sites within regulatory elements active in EOC precursor tissues. In The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset, CHEK2 gene expression was significantly higher in primary EOCs compared to normal fallopian tube tissues (P = 3.72×10(-8)). We also identified an association between genotypes of the candidate causal SNP rs12166475 (r (2) = 0.99 with rs6005807) and CHEK2 expression (P = 2.70×10(-8)). These data suggest that common variants at 22q12.1 are associated with risk of serous EOC and CHEK2 as a plausible target susceptibility gene.

An F, Zhang Z, Xia M
Functional analysis of the nasopharyngeal carcinoma primary tumor‑associated gene interaction network.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(4):4975-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the molecular mechanism of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) primary tumor development through the identification of key genes using bioinformatics approaches. Using the GSE53819 microarray dataset, acquired from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened out between NPC primary tumor and control samples, followed by hierarchical clustering analysis. The Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes database was utilized to build a protein‑protein interaction network to identify key node proteins. In total, 1,067 DEGs, including 326 upregulated genes and 741 downregulated genes, were identified between the NPC and control samples. The results of the hierarchical clustering analysis demonstrated that 95% of the DEGs were sample‑specific. Furthermore, PDZ binding kinase (PBK), centromere protein F (CENPF), actin‑binding protein anillin (ANLN), exonuclease 1 (EXO1) and chromosome 15 open reading frame 42 (C15ORF42) were included in the obtained network module, which was closely associated with the cell cycle and nucleic acid metabolic process GO functions. The results of the present study revealed that EXO1, CENPF, ANLN, PBK and C15ORF42 may be involved in the mechanism of NPC via modulating the cell cycle and nucleic acid metabolic processes, and may serve as molecular biomarkers for the diagnosis of this disease.

Dracea A, Angelescu C, Danciulescu M, et al.
Mismatch repair gene expression in gastroesophageal cancers.
Turk J Gastroenterol. 2015; 26(5):373-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Mismatch repair (MMR) genes play a critical role in maintaining genomic stability, and the impairment of MMR machinery is associated with different human cancers, mainly colorectal cancer. The purpose of our study was to analyze gene expression patterns of three MMR genes (MSH2, MHS6, and EXO1) in gastroesophageal cancers, a pathology in which the contribution of DNA repair genes remains essentially unclear.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 45 Romanian patients diagnosed with sporadic gastroesophageal cancers were included in this study. For each patient, MMR mRNA levels were measured in biopsied tumoral (T) and peritumoral (PT) tissues obtained by upper endoscopy. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) with specific TaqMan probes was used to measure gene expression levels for MSH2, MSH6, and EXO1 genes.
RESULTS: A significant association was observed for the investigated MMR genes, all of which were detected to be upregulated in gastroesophageal tumor samples when compared with paired normal samples. In the stratified analysis, the association was limited to gastric adenocarcinoma samples. We found no statistically significant associations between MMR gene expression and tumor site or histological grade.
CONCLUSION: In our study, MSH2, MSH6, and EXO1 genes were overexpressed in gastroesophageal cancers. Further investigations based on more samples are necessary to validate our findings.

Fang M, Pak ML, Chamberlain L, et al.
The CREB Coactivator CRTC2 Is a Lymphoma Tumor Suppressor that Preserves Genome Integrity through Transcription of DNA Mismatch Repair Genes.
Cell Rep. 2015; 11(9):1350-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CREB-regulated transcription coactivator CRTC2 stimulates CREB target gene expression and has a well-established role in modulating glucose and lipid metabolism. Here, we find, unexpectedly, that loss of CRTC2, as well as CREB1 and its coactivator CREB-binding protein (CBP), results in a deficiency in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) and a resultant increased mutation frequency. We show that CRTC2, CREB1, and CBP are transcriptional activators of well-established MMR genes, including EXO1, MSH6, PMS1, and POLD2. Mining of expression profiling databases and analysis of patient samples reveal that CRTC2 and its target MMR genes are downregulated in specific T cell lymphoma subtypes, which are microsatellite unstable. The levels of acetylated histone H3 on the CRTC2 promoter are significantly reduced in lymphoma in comparison to normal tissue, explaining the decreased CRTC2 expression. Our results establish a role for CRTC2 as a lymphoma tumor suppressor gene that preserves genome integrity by stimulating transcription of MMR genes.

Hansen MF, Johansen J, Bjørnevoll I, et al.
A novel POLE mutation associated with cancers of colon, pancreas, ovaries and small intestine.
Fam Cancer. 2015; 14(3):437-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In some families there is an increased risk for colorectal cancer, caused by heritable, but often unidentified genetic mutations predisposing to the disease. We have identified the likely genetic cause for disease predisposition in a large family with high burden of colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, in addition to extra-colonic cancers. This family had previously been tested for known cancer susceptibility genes, with negative results. Exome sequencing was used to identify a novel mutation, c.1373A>T (p.Tyr458Phe), in the gene for DNA polymerase epsilon catalytic subunit (POLE). This mutation is located in the active site of the exonuclease domain of the enzyme, and affects a residue that has previously been shown to be important for exonuclease activity. The first predisposing mutation identified in POLE (c.1270C>G, p.Leu424Val) was associated with colorectal cancer only, but another mutation with a broader tumour spectrum (c.1089C>A, p.Asn363Lys) has recently been reported. In the family described in the present study, carriers generally have multiple colorectal adenomas and cancer of colon, pancreas, ovaries and small intestine which represents an important broadening of the tumour spectrum of POLE mutation carriers. We also observe a large phenotypic variation among the POLE mutation carriers in this family, most likely explained by modifying variants in other genes. One POLE mutation carrier has a novel variant in EXO1 (c.458C>T, p.Ala153Val), which may contribute to a more severe phenotype. The findings in this study will have important implications for risk assessment and surveillance of POLE mutation carriers.

Michailidou K, Beesley J, Lindstrom S, et al.
Genome-wide association analysis of more than 120,000 individuals identifies 15 new susceptibility loci for breast cancer.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(4):373-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and large-scale replication studies have identified common variants in 79 loci associated with breast cancer, explaining ∼14% of the familial risk of the disease. To identify new susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of 11 GWAS, comprising 15,748 breast cancer cases and 18,084 controls together with 46,785 cases and 42,892 controls from 41 studies genotyped on a 211,155-marker custom array (iCOGS). Analyses were restricted to women of European ancestry. We generated genotypes for more than 11 million SNPs by imputation using the 1000 Genomes Project reference panel, and we identified 15 new loci associated with breast cancer at P < 5 × 10(-8). Combining association analysis with ChIP-seq chromatin binding data in mammary cell lines and ChIA-PET chromatin interaction data from ENCODE, we identified likely target genes in two regions: SETBP1 at 18q12.3 and RNF115 and PDZK1 at 1q21.1. One association appears to be driven by an amino acid substitution encoded in EXO1.

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