Genetic and epigenetic analyses guided by high resolution whole-genome SNP array reveals a possible role of CHEK2 in Wilms tumour susceptibility
Wilms tumour (WT), the most frequent malignant childhood renal tumour, shows a high degree of genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity. Loss of imprinting on chromosome 11p15 is found in a large fraction of cases and mutations in a few genes, including WT1, CTNNB1, WTX, TP53 and, more recently, SIX1, SIX2 and micro RNA processing genes (miRNAPGs), have been observed. However, these alterations are not sufficient to describe the entire spectrum of genetic defects underlying WT development. We
... ed data obtained from a previously performed genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array analysis on 96 WT samples. By selecting focal regions commonly involved in chromosomal anomalies, we identified genes with a possible role in WT development, based on the prior knowledge of their biological relevance, including MYCN, DIS3L2, MIR562, HACE1, GLI3, CDKN2A and CDKN2B, PALB2, and CHEK2. The MYCN hotspot mutation c.131C>T was detected in seven cases (7.3%). Full sequencing of the remaining genes disclosed 16 rare missense variants and a splicing mutation. Most of these were present at the germline level. Promoter analysis of HACE1, CDKN2A and CDKN2B disclosed partial methylation affecting HACE1 in a consistent fraction of cases (85%). Interestingly, of the four missense variants identified in CHEK2, three were predicted to be deleterious by in silico analyses, while an additional variant was observed to alter mRNA splicing, generating a functionally defective protein. Our study adds additional information on putative WT genes, and adds evidences involving CHEK2 in WT susceptibility.