Background & aims: Gastric cancers, sporadic colorectal cancers, and ulcerative colitis (UC)-associated colorectal carcinomas and dysplasias manifest microsatellite instability (MI); however, esophageal carcinomas rarely exhibit MI. Recently, a transforming growth factor-beta 1 type II receptor (TGF-beta 1RII) mutation in a coding microsatellite was described in primary colorectal carcinomas demonstrating MI. No previous studies of TGF-beta 1RII have addressed mechanisms of inactivation other than MI in human tumors; furthermore, MI-negative tumors have not been examined for TGF-beta 1RII mutation. We evaluated 138 primary human neoplasms for mutation in the poly-A microsatellite tract of TGF-beta 1RII. Additionally, a group of esophageal tumors was evaluated for the expression of TGF-beta 1RII messenger RNA (mRNA).
Methods: First, we determined whether MI was present at other chromosomal loci in these lesions. The poly-deoxyadenine (poly-A) microsatellite tract within the TGF-beta 1RII coding region was then PCR-amplified. In a group of MI-negative esophageal tumors, RT-PCR was performed to determine the expression of TGF-beta 1RII mRNA.
Results: Among 17 MI+ UC specimens, 3 (18%) demonstrated TGF-beta 1RII poly-A tract mutation (2 cancers and 1 dysplasia), while 2 (4%) of 44 MI-negative UC specimens (1 dysplasia and 1 tumor), and 13 (81%) of 16 MI+ sporadic colorectal cancers, contained TGF-beta 1RII poly-A mutation. No gastric or esophageal tumors contained TGF-beta 1RII mutation. Among 21 MI-negative esophageal carcinomas. 6 cases (28.5%) had TGF-beta 1RII transcripts that were low or undetectable by RT-PCR.
Conclusions: Mutation within the poly-A microsatellite tract of TGF-beta 1RII occurs early in a subset of UC-neoplasms and commonly in sporadic colorectal cancers, but may be rare in MI+ gastric tumors. Diminished expression of TGF-beta 1RII mRNA in esophageal tumors suggests that mechanisms of inactivation in this gene other than MI play a role in esophageal carcinogenesis.