Evidence for GALNT12 as a moderate penetrance gene for colorectal cancer.


Characterizing moderate penetrance susceptibility genes is an emerging frontier in colorectal cancer (CRC) research. GALNT12 is a strong candidate CRC-susceptibility gene given previous linkage and association studies, and inactivating somatic and germline alleles in CRC patients. Previously, we found rare segregating germline GALNT12 variants in a clinic-based cohort (N = 118) with predisposition for CRC. Here, we screened a new population-based cohort of incident CRC cases (N = 479) for rare (MAF ≤1%) deleterious germline GALNT12 variants. GALNT12 screening revealed eight rare variants. Two variants were previously described (p.Asp303Asn, p.Arg297Trp), and additionally, we found six other rare variants: five missense (p.His101Gln, p.Ile142Thr, p.Glu239Gln, p.Thr286Met, p.Val290Phe) and one putative splice-altering variant (c.732-8 G>T). Sequencing of population-matched controls (N = 400) revealed higher burden of these variants in CRC cases compared with healthy controls (P = 0.0381). We then functionally characterized the impact of substitutions on GALNT12 enzyme activity using in vitro-derived peptide substrates. Three of the newly identified GALNT12 missense variants (p.His101Gln, p.Ile142Thr, p.Val290Phe) demonstrated a marked loss (>2-fold reduction) of enzymatic activity compared with wild-type (P ≤ 0.05), whereas p.Glu239Gln exhibited a ∼2-fold reduction in activity (P = 0.077). These findings provide strong, independent evidence for the association of GALNT12 defects with CRC-susceptibility; underscoring implications for glycosylation pathway defects in CRC.

  • Clarke E
  • Dohey AT
  • Evans DR
  • Gerken TA
  • Green JS
  • Guda K
  • Pennell JJ
  • Powell AE
  • Quinn E
  • Ravi L
  • Revoredo L
  • Venkitachalam S
  • Woods MO
PubMed ID
Appears In
Hum Mutat, 2018, 39 (8)