Constitutional epimutations of tumor suppressor genes manifest as promoter methylation and transcriptional silencing of a single allele in normal somatic tissues, thereby predisposing to cancer. Constitutional MLH1 epimutations occur in individuals with young-onset cancer and demonstrate non-Mendelian inheritance through their reversal in the germline. We report a cancer-affected family showing dominant transmission of soma-wide highly mosaic MLH1 methylation and transcriptional repression linked to a particular genetic haplotype. The epimutation was erased in spermatozoa but reinstated in the somatic cells of the next generation. The affected haplotype harbored two single nucleotide substitutions in tandem; c.-27C > A located near the transcription initiation site and c.85G > T. The c.-27C > A variant significantly reduced transcriptional activity in reporter assays and is the probable cause of this epimutation.
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