Microsatellite instability in saliva from patients with hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer and siblings carrying germline mismatch repair gene mutations.Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2011 Fall; 41(4):321-30.AC
Microsatellites are short tandem repeats of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences which are distributed throughout the genome. Tumors in patients with Lynch syndrome tend to accumulate mutations in microsatellites at a much higher rate than other sequences in the genome resulting in microsatellite instability (MSI). This is due to germline mutations in mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Using small pool-polymerase chain reaction (SP-PCR), previous studies have shown that mutant alleles can be detected in microsatellites of DNA from peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) of Lynch syndrome patients at frequencies that were low, but significantly higher than frequencies in PBLs of age-matched non-Lynch syndrome controls. In the present study, SP-PCR detection of frequency of mutant MSI alleles (FMMA) was performed on PBLs and saliva samples from four sets of families. Each family set consisted of a mutation carrying affected proband (initial tumor bearer), a germline mutation-carrier sibling without tumors, and an age-matched normal control, either related (for 3 family sets) without mutation carrier status or unrelated (for 1 family set) without mutation carrier status. FMMAs of saliva and PBL DNA were compared between each proband, sibling and control for each family set, and between family sets. In all five statistically significant saliva comparisons identified between germline mutation carriers (FMMA: 0.080-0.261) and normal controls (FMMA: 0.003-0.087), the measured FMMAs were always higher in the carriers (p < 0.05). A logistic regression model of the data showed a significant increase in FMMAs in saliva DNA from siblings with MMR mutation compared to the normal controls (p < 0.001). These results indicated that the increased FMMAs observed in the saliva DNA as well as PBL DNA of MMR gene mutation carriers compared to normal controls are real and repeatable. Furthermore, the logistic regression also indicated that the FMMAs seen in saliva were nearly double those seen in PBLs (p < 0.001). Saliva testing, a less-invasive procedure than PBL testing, is more sensitive and appears to be a viable alternative for identifying MSI in carriers with MMR mutations.