Numerous mismatch repair (MMR) gene variants have been identified in Lynch syndrome and other cancer patients, but knowledge about their pathogenicity is frequently missing. The diagnosis and treatment of patients would benefit from knowing which variants are disease related. Bioinformatic approaches are well suited to the problem and can handle large numbers of cases. Functional effects were revealed based on literature for 168 MMR missense variants. Performance of numerous prediction methods was tested with this dataset. Among the tested tools, only the results of tolerance prediction methods correlated to functional information, however, with poor performance. Therefore, a novel consensus-based predictor was developed. The novel prediction method, pathogenic-or-not mismatch repair (PON-MMR), achieved accuracy of 0.87 and Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.77 on the experimentally verified variants. When applied to 616 MMR cases with unknown effects, 81 missense variants were predicted to be pathogenic and 167 neutral. With PON-MMR, the number of MMR missense variants with unknown effect was reduced by classifying a large number of cases as likely pathogenic or benign. The results can be used, for example, to prioritize cases for experimental studies and assist in the classification of cases.
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.