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The -93G > A (rs1800734) polymorphism within the core promoter region of the MutL homolog 1 (MLH1) gene has recently been proposed as a low penetrance variant for colorectal cancer (CRC). We evaluated the significance of rs1800734 on CRC risk by genotyping 10 409 CRC cases and 6965 controls. The per allele odds ratio (OR) for all CRC-associated MLH1-93G > A was 1.06 (P = 0.037). Using a subset of 3132 cases with known microsatellite instability (MSI) status, the risk was shown to be confined to microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) CRC; OR = 1.39 (P = 1.45 × 10(-4)). A meta-analysis of our study and four smaller published studies (totalling 801 cases, 10 890 controls) provided for increased evidence of relationship between MLH1-93G > A and MSI-H CRC risk (P = 3.43 × 10(-12)). The impact of MLH1-93G > A on CRC risk was shown to be independent of the 14 low penetrance loci for CRC identified by recent genome-wide association studies. These data provide further evidence that MLH1-93G > A is a low-penetrance variant for CRC and support the proposition that MLH1-93G > A acts as marker for a somatic event defining a specific CRC subtype.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1157 - 1161


Section of Cancer Genetics, Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK.


Humans, Colorectal Neoplasms, Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Nuclear Proteins, DNA, Neoplasm, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Case-Control Studies, Polymerase Chain Reaction, DNA Mutational Analysis, DNA Methylation, Microsatellite Repeats, Genotype, Polymorphism, Genetic, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Microsatellite Instability, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Promoter Regions, Genetic, MutL Protein Homolog 1