Purpose: Lynch syndrome is an autosomal dominant syndrome of familial malignancies resulting from germ line mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Our goal was to take a pathway-based approach to investigate the influence of polymorphisms in cell cycle-related genes on age of onset for Lynch syndrome using a tree model.
Experimental design: We evaluated polymorphisms in a panel of cell cycle-related genes (AURKA, CDKN2A, TP53, E2F2, CCND1, TP73, MDM2, IGF1, and CDKN2B) in 220 MMR gene mutation carriers from 129 families. We applied a novel statistical approach, tree modeling (Classification and Regression Tree), to the analysis of data on patients with Lynch syndrome to identify individuals with a higher probability of developing colorectal cancer at an early age and explore the gene-gene interactions between polymorphisms in cell cycle genes.
Results: We found that the subgroup with CDKN2A C580T wild-type genotype, IGF1 CA-repeats >or=19, E2F2 variant genotype, AURKA wild-type genotype, and CCND1 variant genotype had the youngest age of onset, with a 45-year median onset age, while the subgroup with CDKN2A C580T wild-type genotype, IGF1 CA-repeats >or=19, E2F2 wild-type genotype, and AURKA variant genotype had the latest median age of onset, which was 70 years. Furthermore, we found evidence of a possible gene-gene interaction between E2F2 and AURKA genes related to CRC age of onset.
Conclusions: Polymorphisms in these cell cycle-related genes work together to modify the age at the onset of CRC in patients with Lynch syndrome. These studies provide an important part of the foundation for development of a model for stratifying age of onset risk among those with Lynch syndrome.