Biallelic truncating FANCM mutations cause early-onset cancer but not Fanconi anemia

Massimo Bogliolo, Dominique Bluteau, James Lespinasse, Roser Pujol, Nadia Vasquez, Catherine Dubois D'Enghien, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Thierry Leblanc, Jean Soulier, Jordi Surrallés

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34 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Purpose: Mutations in genes involved in Fanconi anemia (FA)/BRCA DNA repair pathway cause cancer susceptibility diseases including familial breast cancer and Fanconi anemia (FA). A single FA patient with biallelic FANCM mutations was reported in 2005 but concurrent FANCA pathogenic mutations precluded assignment of FANCM as an FA gene. Here we report three individuals with biallelic FANCM truncating mutations who developed early-onset cancer and toxicity to chemotherapy but did not present congenital malformations or any hematological phenotype suggestive of FA. Methods: Chromosomal breakages, interstrand crosslink sensitivity, and FANCD2 monoubiquitination were assessed in primary fibroblasts. Mutation analysis was achieved through Sanger sequencing. Genetic complementation of patient-derived cells was performed by lentiviral mediated transduction of wild-type FANCM complementary DNA followed by functional studies. Results: Patient-derived cells exhibited chromosomal fragility, hypersensitivity to interstrand crosslinks, and impaired FANCD2 monoubiquitination. We identified two homozygous mutations (c.2586-2589del4; p.Lys863Ilefs∗12 and c.1506-1507insTA; p.Ile503∗) in FANCM as the cause of the cellular phenotype. Patient-derived cells were genetically complemented upon wild-type FANCM complementary DNA expression. Conclusion: Loss-of-function mutations in FANCM cause a cancer predisposition syndrome clinically distinct from bona fide FA. Care should be taken with chemotherapy and radiation treatments in these patients due to expected acute toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-463
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Fanconi anemia
  • genetic predisposition to cancer


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