Mutations in some mismatch repair (MMR) genes are associated with Lynch syndrome (LS; also called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer [HNPCC]), an autosomal dominant cancer susceptibility syndrome. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most frequent cancer observed in LS. However, tumors occur at a variety of extracolonic sites and individuals may have multiple primary cancers. LS is the most common hereditary form of CRC, accounting for approximately 1% of all CRC. Since the first account of mutations in MSH2 causing this cancer susceptibility syndrome in 1993, mutations in three additional MMR genes, MLH1, MSH6, and PMS2, have been shown to cause LS. More than 1,500 different variants have been identified in these four genes and approximately 80% of the alterations have been identified in MLH1 and MSH2. There have been a few previous attempts to systematically record MMR variants associated with LS patients; however, they were not complete nor were they continuously updated. Thus, it was our goal to generate and maintain a comprehensive catalogue of MMR variants from genes known to be mutated in LS (http://www.med.mun.ca/MMRvariants; last accessed 8 February 2007). Providing such a resource should aid investigators in understanding the significance of the variants.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.