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Combined loss of CDH1 and downstream regulatory sequences drive early-onset diffuse gastric cancer and increase penetrance of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.

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São José, Celina 
Garcia-Pelaez, José 
Ferreira, Marta 
Arrieta, Oscar 
André, Ana 


BACKGROUND: Germline CDH1 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants cause hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC). Once a genetic cause is identified, stomachs' and breasts' surveillance and/or prophylactic surgery is offered to asymptomatic CDH1 carriers, which is life-saving. Herein, we characterized an inherited mechanism responsible for extremely early-onset gastric cancer and atypical HDGC high penetrance. METHODS: Whole-exome sequencing (WES) re-analysis was performed in an unsolved HDGC family. Accessible chromatin and CDH1 promoter interactors were evaluated in normal stomach by ATAC-seq and 4C-seq, and functional analysis was performed using CRISPR-Cas9, RNA-seq and pathway analysis. RESULTS: We identified a germline heterozygous 23 Kb CDH1-TANGO6 deletion in a family with eight diffuse gastric cancers, six before age 30. Atypical HDGC high penetrance and young cancer-onset argued towards a role for the deleted region downstream of CDH1, which we proved to present accessible chromatin, and CDH1 promoter interactors in normal stomach. CRISPR-Cas9 edited cells mimicking the CDH1-TANGO6 deletion display the strongest CDH1 mRNA downregulation, more impacted adhesion-associated, type-I interferon immune-associated and oncogenic signalling pathways, compared to wild-type or CDH1-deleted cells. This finding solved an 18-year family odyssey and engaged carrier family members in a cancer prevention pathway of care. CONCLUSION: In this work, we demonstrated that regulatory elements lying down-stream of CDH1 are part of a chromatin network that control CDH1 expression and influence cell transcriptome and associated signalling pathways, likely explaining high disease penetrance and very young cancer-onset. This study highlights the importance of incorporating scientific-technological updates and clinical guidelines in routine diagnosis, given their impact in timely genetic diagnosis and disease prevention.


Funder: Universidade do Porto


CDH1, Copy number variants, Deletion, Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer, Regulatory elements, Type-I interferon immune response, Humans, Adult, Stomach Neoplasms, Penetrance, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Adenocarcinoma, Cadherins, Chromatin, Germ-Line Mutation, Antigens, CD

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Gastric Cancer

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)