Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) is a cancer predisposition syndrome caused by germline mutation of the gene encoding the tumour-suppressor E-cadherin (CDH1). We describe the search for CDH1 mutations in 36 new diffuse gastric cancer families. All 16 CDH1 exons, neighbouring intronic sequence and an essential promoter region were screened by DNA sequencing. We detected nine different mutations, seven of which were novel. Of the seven novel mutations, five were identified in families who met the IGCLC clinical criteria for HDGC. Two mutations resulted in a premature stop codon and truncation of the protein. Three mutations affected splice sites; two of the splice-site mutations were shown by RT-PCR to disturb normal CDH1 splicing, while the third splice-site mutation was present in two unrelated HDGC families. The remaining two mutations resulted in amino acid substitutions and impaired the ability of E-cadherin protein to form cellular aggregates and suppress invasion in vitro. Together with the occurrence of extra-gastric tumours such as lobular breast and colorectal cancer, these findings further extend the types of CDH1 mutations and the spectrum of tumours associated with HDGC.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.