Preliminary evidence for involvement of the tumour suppressor gene CHD5 in a family with cutaneous melanoma


  • Funding sources
    The University of Glasgow Roberts Fellowship and the Chief Scientist Office for Scotland (grant no. CZB/4/395).

  • Conflicts of interest
    None declared.

Julie Lang.


Background  Cutaneous melanoma is rapidly increasing in incidence worldwide and approximately 5% of melanomas are hereditary. Deletions in chromosome 1p36 have been detected in melanoma but no candidate melanoma tumour suppressor gene has yet been found in this area. Recently, strong evidence has been reported that CHD5 is a tumour suppressor gene in this region.

Objectives  To investigate CHD5 involvement in familial melanoma.

Methods  Peripheral blood DNA from 47 melanoma families who do not carry mutations in any of the three currently recognized melanoma genes, 398 patients with sporadic melanoma and 398 geographically matched nonmelanoma-bearing controls were studied. Linkage investigation, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping and mutation screening studies were carried out on the CHD5 locus.

Results  The CHD5 gene was not excluded by linkage analysis in any of the families. On SNP genotyping, the CHD5 rs7513548 SNP was found to be significantly associated with sporadic melanoma (odds ratio 1·53, 95% confidence interval 1·13–2·06). The AG genotype was found in 208 cases and 169 controls (cf. 141 and 175 cases and controls, respectively, for the AA genotype). On CHD5 mutation screening, a total of 50 single-base substitutions were detected. Of these, 39 were intronic and 11 were exonic. While 32 were previously recognized variants, 18 were newly identified. Three, in exons 4, 31 and 32, led to nonsynonymous substitutions. A p.Met1576Ile substitution was identified in a mother and daughter, both with invasive cutaneous melanoma.

Conclusions  This study appears to be the first report of CHD5 variants in familial cutaneous melanoma. Such CHD5 variants could block or alter the ability of CHD5 to regulate the cell cycle pathway and to effect cellular control. As only one of the 47 families studied has this variant, it appears to be a rare event and further screening of melanoma families is required to confirm whether or not CHD5 is involved in melanoma pathogenesis.