We analyzed somatic mutation and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the serine/threonine kinase 11 (STK11)/Peutz-Jeghers syndrome gene in 49 colorectal tumors in three different stages of a dysplasia-carcinoma sequence. We detected LOH in 10 of 19 (52.6%) informative colorectal cancers at loci D19S886 and/or D19S883, but no LOH was observed in 25 informative adenomas. We detected a total of 9 somatic mutations [7 of 13 (53.8%) left-sided colon cancers and 2 of 7 (28.6%) left-sided adenomas with high-grade dysplasia], but no mutations were detected in right-sided colon tumors. Of the nine mutations, one was a frameshift mutation (the same mutation detected in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome family previously), and the other eight were missense mutations. This results indicate that STK11 is a tumor suppressor gene and that genetic changes of STK11 play an important role in left-sided colon cancer carcinogenesis.
This work was supported by funding from the “Good Health R&D Project” of the Ministry of Health Welfare of Korea (Grant HMP-98-M-2-0018).