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Homozygosity for CHEK2 p.Gly167Arg leads to a unique cancer syndrome with multiple complex chromosomal translocations in peripheral blood karyotype


Background Chromosomal instability, as reflected by structural or copy-number changes, is a known cancer characteristic but are rarely observed in healthy tissue. Mutations in DNA repair genes disrupt the maintenance of DNA integrity and predispose to hereditary cancer syndromes.

Objective To clinically characterise and genetically diagnose two reportedly unrelated patients with unique cancer syndromes, including multiorgan tumourogenesis (patient 1) and early-onset acute myeloid leukaemia (patient 2), both displaying unique peripheral blood karyotypes.

Methods Genetic analysis in patient 1 included TruSight One panel and whole-exome sequencing, while patient 2 was diagnosed by FoundationOne Heme genomic analysis; Sanger sequencing was used for mutation confirmation in both patients. Karyotype analysis was performed on peripheral blood, bone marrow and other available tissues.

Results Both patients were found homozygous for CHEK2 c.499G>A; p.Gly167Arg and exhibited multiple different chromosomal translocations in 30%–60% peripheral blood lymphocytes. This karyotype phenotype was not observed in other tested tissues or in an ovarian cancer patient with a different homozygous missense mutation in CHEK2 (c.1283C>T; p.Ser428Phe).

Conclusions The multiple chromosomal translocations in patient lymphocytes highlight the role of CHK2 in DNA repair. We suggest that homozygosity for p.Gly167Arg increases patients' susceptibility to non-accurate correction of DNA breaks and possibly explains their increased susceptibility to either multiple primary tumours during their lifetime or early-onset tumourigenesis.

  • chek2
  • multi-organ tumorigenesis
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • chromosomal translocations
  • Dna breakage
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