Mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells is usually homoge-neously retained or lost. Rare lesions may show a heterogeneous pattern of MMR protein expression. We evaluated MMR protein expression (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2) in 200 CRCs, identifying 3 groups with proficient MMR protein expression (MMRp), deficient MMR protein expression (MMRd), and heterogeneous MMR protein expression (MMRh). MMRh tumors were microdissected on the basis of the expression of the heterogeneous marker. DNA was extracted and subjected to targeted sequencing. RNA was purified from bulk tumors of all MMRh cases and in a control series of 15 MMRp and 10 MMRd CRCs and analyzed using the PanCancer IO 360 Panel (NanoString Tech-nologies). Twenty-nine of the 200 cases (14.5%) were MMRd. Nine cases (4.5%) showed a hetero-geneous pattern of MMR expression, with 6 tumors harboring concomitant loss of one of the other MMR proteins, thus featuring areas with double loss at immunohistochemistry (IHC) testing (MMRh double-loss cases). Four of the 6 MMRh double-loss cases were suitable for a separate sequence variant analysis of IHC double-negative and IHC single-negative components of the tumor. In all lesions, both components exhibited a high tumor mutation burden (TMB). Nevertheless, a significant increase in TMB in the double-negative components was observed (mean TMB: negative, 70 mut/Mb vs positive, 59 mut/Mb) because of a higher number of subclonal variants compared with the other component. Comparative gene expression analyses among MMRd, MMRp, and MMRh CRCs high-lighted differential gene expression patterns and an increased number of tumor-infiltrating lym-phocytes in MMRh lesions, which is also characterized by a substantial population of exhausted CD8 thorn lymphocytes. We describe a unique subgroup of CRCs showing heterogeneous expression of MMR proteins in a background of concomitant loss of one of the other markers.(c) 2022 THE AUTHORS. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Unique Patterns of Heterogeneous Mismatch Repair Protein Expression in Colorectal Cancer Unveil Different Degrees of Tumor Mutational Burden and Distinct Tumor Microenvironment Features

Berrino, Enrico
First
;
Amodio, Vito;Germano, Giovanni;Fenocchio, Elisabetta;Sapino, Anna;Bardelli, Alberto;Marchio', Caterina
Last
2023-01-01

Abstract

Mismatch repair (MMR) protein expression in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells is usually homoge-neously retained or lost. Rare lesions may show a heterogeneous pattern of MMR protein expression. We evaluated MMR protein expression (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2) in 200 CRCs, identifying 3 groups with proficient MMR protein expression (MMRp), deficient MMR protein expression (MMRd), and heterogeneous MMR protein expression (MMRh). MMRh tumors were microdissected on the basis of the expression of the heterogeneous marker. DNA was extracted and subjected to targeted sequencing. RNA was purified from bulk tumors of all MMRh cases and in a control series of 15 MMRp and 10 MMRd CRCs and analyzed using the PanCancer IO 360 Panel (NanoString Tech-nologies). Twenty-nine of the 200 cases (14.5%) were MMRd. Nine cases (4.5%) showed a hetero-geneous pattern of MMR expression, with 6 tumors harboring concomitant loss of one of the other MMR proteins, thus featuring areas with double loss at immunohistochemistry (IHC) testing (MMRh double-loss cases). Four of the 6 MMRh double-loss cases were suitable for a separate sequence variant analysis of IHC double-negative and IHC single-negative components of the tumor. In all lesions, both components exhibited a high tumor mutation burden (TMB). Nevertheless, a significant increase in TMB in the double-negative components was observed (mean TMB: negative, 70 mut/Mb vs positive, 59 mut/Mb) because of a higher number of subclonal variants compared with the other component. Comparative gene expression analyses among MMRd, MMRp, and MMRh CRCs high-lighted differential gene expression patterns and an increased number of tumor-infiltrating lym-phocytes in MMRh lesions, which is also characterized by a substantial population of exhausted CD8 thorn lymphocytes. We describe a unique subgroup of CRCs showing heterogeneous expression of MMR proteins in a background of concomitant loss of one of the other markers.(c) 2022 THE AUTHORS. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
2023
36
100012
1
10
colorectal cancer; heterogeneity; immunohistochemistry; microsatellite instability; mismatch repair deficiency; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
Berrino, Enrico; Aquilano, Maria Costanza; Valtorta, Emanuele; Amodio, Vito; Germano, Giovanni; Gusmini, Marco; Gizzi, Katiuscia; Fenocchio, Elisabetta; Sapino, Anna; Marsoni, Silvia; Sartore-Bianchi, Andrea; Bardelli, Alberto; Siena, Salvatore; Bonoldi, Emanuela; Marchio', Caterina
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1904038
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