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Journal Article

Somatic MED12 mutations in uterine leiomyosarcoma and colorectal cancer


Schrewe,  Heinrich
Dept. of Developmental Genetics (Head: Bernhard G. Herrmann), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kämpjärvi, K., Mäkinen, N., Kilpivaara, O., Arola, J., Heinonen, H.-R., Böhm, J., et al. (2012). Somatic MED12 mutations in uterine leiomyosarcoma and colorectal cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 107, 1761-1765.

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Background: Mediator complex participates in transcriptional regulation by connecting regulatory DNA sequences to the RNA polymerase II initiation complex. Recently, we discovered through exome sequencing that as many as 70% of uterine leiomyomas harbour specific mutations in exon 2 of mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12). In this work, we examined the role of MED12 exon 2 mutations in other tumour types. Methods: The frequency of MED12 exon 2 mutations was analysed in altogether 1158 tumours by direct sequencing. The tumour spectrum included mesenchymal tumours (extrauterine leiomyomas, endometrial polyps, lipomas, uterine leiomyosarcomas, other sarcomas, gastro-intestinal stromal tumours), hormone-dependent tumours (breast and ovarian cancers), haematological malignancies (acute myeloid leukaemias, acute lymphoid leukaemias, myeloproliferative neoplasms), and tumours associated with abnormal Wnt-signalling (colorectal cancers (CRC)). Results: Five somatic alterations were observed: three in uterine leiomyosarcomas (3/41, 7%; Gly44Ser, Ala38_Leu39ins7, Glu35_Leu36delinsVal), and two in CRC (2/392, 0.5%; Gly44Cys, Ala67Val). Conclusion: Somatic MED12 exon 2 mutations were observed in uterine leiomyosarcomas, suggesting that a subgroup of these malignant tumours may develop from a leiomyoma precursor. Mutations in CRC samples indicate that MED12 may, albeit rarely, contribute to CRC tumorigenesis.