Park SW, Hur SY, Yoo NJ, Lee SH. Somatic frameshift mutations of bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 gene in gastric and colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability. APMIS 2010; 118: 824–9.
Mounting evidence exists that perturbation of bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling is involved in cancer development, especially in gastrointestinal cancers. However, somatic mutations of the genes encoding BMP and BMP receptors have not yet been discovered in human cancer tissues. By analyzing a public database, we found that BMP receptor 2 (BMPR2) and BMP1 genes had mononucleotide repeats in their coding sequences that could be mutation targets in cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI). In this study, we analyzed the mutation of BMPR2 and BMP1 genes in gastric (GC) and colorectal cancers (CRC) with MSI [31 GC with high MSI (MSI-H), 13 GC with low MSI (MSI-L), 38 CRC with MSI-H and 15 CRC with MSI-L] by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. Overall, we found seven frameshift mutations in the BMPR2 gene, but not in the BMP1 gene. The mutations were an identical deletion mutation of one base in the repeats (c.1748delA) that would result in premature stops of the amino acid synthesis (p.Asn583ThrfsX44). The BMPR2 mutations were detected in 6.5% of GC and 13.2% of CRC with MSI-H. All the cancers with the BMPR2 mutation showed loss of BMPR2 expression. Our data indicate that frameshift mutation of BMPR2 gene occurs in GC and CRC with MSI-H, and suggest that the BMPR2 mutation might contribute to cancer pathogenesis by inactivating BMPR2-mediated BMP signaling.