Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that plays a critical role in DNA damage-induced signaling and initiation of cell cycle checkpoint signaling in response to DNA-damaging agents such as ionizing radiation. We have previously reported the ATM protein loss by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 16% of human gastric cancer (GC) tissue. We hypothesized that ATM gene intron mutations targeted by microsatellite instability (MSI) cause ATM protein loss in a subset of GC. We studied mononucleotide mutations at the intron of ATM gene, ATM IHC and MSI in GC. Ten human gastric cancer cell lines were studied for the ATM gene mutation at introns, RT-PCR, direct sequencing, and immunohistochemistry. GC tissues of 839 patients were analyzed for MSI and ATM IHC. Among them, 604 cases were analyzed for the ATM mutations at introns preceding exon 6, exon 10 and exon 20. Two human GC cell lines (SNU-1 and -638) showed ATM intron mutations, deletion in RT-PCR and direct sequencing, and ATM protein loss by IHC. The frequencies of ATM mutation, MSI, and ATM protein loss were 12.9% (78/604), 9.2% (81/882) and 15.2% (134/839), respectively. Analysis of associations among MSI, ATM gene mutation, and ATM protein loss revealed highly co-existing ATM gene alterations and MSI. ATM intron mutation and ATM protein loss were detected in 69.3% (52/75) and 53.3% (40/75) of MSI positive GC. MSI positivity and ATM protein loss were present in 68.4% (52/76) and 48.7% (37/76) of GC with ATM intron mutation. ATM mutation and ATM protein loss had characteristics of old age, distal location of tumor, large tumor size, and histologic intestinal type. Our study might be interpreted as that ATM gene mutation at intron might be targeted by MSI and lead to ATM protein loss in a selected group of GC.
Kim, H. S., Choi, S. I., Min, H. L., Kim, M. A., & Kim, W. H. (2013). Mutation at intronic repeats of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene and ATM protein loss in primary gastric cancer with microsatellite instability. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082769