Colorectal cancer (CRC) mostly develops from a variety of polyps following mainly three different molecular pathways: chromosomal instability (CIN), microsatellite instability (MSI) and CpG island methylation (CIMP). Polyps are classified histologically as conventional adenomas, hyperplastic polyps, sessile serrated adenomas/polyps (SSA/P) and traditional serrated adenomas (TSA). However, the association of these polyps with the different types of CRCs and the underlying genetic and epigenetic aberrations has yet to be resolved. In order to address this question we analyzed 140 tumors and 20 matched mucosae by array comparative genomic hybridization, by sequence analysis of the oncogenes BRAF, KRAS, PI3K3CA and by methylation arrays. MSI was tested indirectly by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and a loss of MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2 was assigned as high microsatellite instability (MSI-H), while low microsatellite instability (MSI-L) was defined as MGMT IHC negativity only. CIN was detected in 78% of all MSI-H CRCs, most commonly as a gain of chromosome 8. Methylation data analyses allowed classification of samples into four groups and detected similar methylation profiles in SSA/P and MSI-H CRC. TSA also revealed aberrant methylation pattern, but clustered more heterogeneously and closer to microsatellite stable (MSS) CRCs. SSA/P, TSA and MSI-H CRCs had the highest degree of promotor methylation (CIMP pathway). Chromosomal instability, in contrast to the established doctrine, is a common phenomenon in MSI CRCs, yet to a lower extent and at later stages than in MSS CRCs. Methylation analyses suggest that SSA/P are precursors for MSI-H CRCs and follow the CIMP pathway. What's new? While polyps of various types have long been known to be precursor lesions for colorectal cancers (CRC) and the molecular pathways leading to CRCs mainly involve chromosomal instability, microsatellite instability, and/or CpG island methylation, how specific polyps relate to the different genetic and epigenetic aberrations remains to be clarified. In contrast to the established doctrine, the authors found that chromosomal instability was a common phenomenon in microsatellite instable CRCs, even though to a lower extent and at later stages compared to microsatellite stable CRCs. Methylation analyses also suggested that sessile serrated adenomas were precursors for CRCs with high microsatellite instability. Copyright © 2012 UICC.
|Journal||International Journal of Cancer|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Apr 2013|
- colorectal cancer
- serrated polyps