Early Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (eHDGC) is Characterized by Subtle Genomic Instability and Active DNA Damage Response

Soroush Nasri1,2 & Bostjan Humara1 & Ahmad Anjomshoaa1,3 & Nourodin Moradi2 & Naghmeh Gholipour2,4 & Sakineh Mashjoor5 & Peng Zhang6


Diffuse gastric cancer (DGC) is one of the two primary types of stomach cancer. Carriers of germline mutations in the gene encoding E-cadherin are predisposed to DGC. The primary aim of the present study was to determine if genomic instability is an early event in DGC and how it may lead to disease progression. Chromosomal aberrations in early intramucosal hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (eHDGC) were assessed using array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH). Notably, no aneuploidy or other large-scale chromosomal rearrangements were detected. Instead, all aberrations affected small regions (< 4.8 Mb) and were predominantly deletions. Analysis of DNA sequence patterns revealed that essentially all aberrations possessed the characteristics of common fragile sites. These results and the results of subsequent immunohistochemical examinations demonstrated that unlike advanced DGC, eHDGCs is characterized by low levels of genomic instability at fragile sites. Furthermore, they express an active DNA damage response, providing a molecular basis for the observed indolence of eHDGC. This finding is an important step to understanding the pathology underlying natural history of DGC and supports a revision of the current definition of eHDGC as a malignant disease.

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