Gardner's syndrome (familial adenomatous polyposis): a cilia-related disorder

Gómez García, E. B. & Knoers, N. V. A. M., Jul-2009, In : Lancet Oncology. 10, 7, p. 727-735 9 p.

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  • Gardner's syndrome (familial adenomatous polyposis): a cilia-related disorder

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Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant form of intestinal polyposis and colorectal cancer caused by germ-line mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. The term Gardner's syndrome is used to describe extracolonic manifestations, such as osteomas, skin cysts, congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigmented epithelium (CHRPE), and desmoid tumours (aggressive fibromatosis), that are especially prominent in families with FAP. We postulate that a ciliary dysfunction is the underlying pathogenetic mechanism of extraintestinal manifestations in patients with FAP. This postulation is based on the presence of common clinical manifestations (ie, cysts, retinal abnormalities, and fibrosis) in Gardner's syndrome and cilia-related disorders. Additionally, both APC and the cilia have degradation of beta-catenin as the common downstream target in the Wnt-signalling pathway. Mutations in APC causing Gardner's syndrome are clustered in a region encoding a series of amino-acid repeats responsible for the binding to beta-catenin. Proofs of principle that beta-catenin could be the key mediator of the ciliary disorder also rely in the findings that overexpression of beta-catenin induces polycystic kidney disease, and CHRPE phenotypes in animal models. Other candidates for the common link between Gardner's syndrome and cilia-related disorders are the APC-binding proteins: end-binding protein 1 (EB1) and kinesin-family-member 3a (KIF3a), both of which are ciliary proteins involved in intraflagellar transport. Finally, pathogenetic similarities between some ciliopathies and extraintestinal tumours in FAP suggest a cilia defect. Understanding extracolonic manifestations in the context of FAP as a ciliary disorder might add new therapeutic options for patients with Gardner's syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-735
Number of pages9
JournalLancet Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Ciliary Motility Disorders/genetics, Gardner Syndrome/genetics, Genes, APC, Genotype, Humans, Microtubule-Associated Proteins/genetics, Mutation/genetics, Phenotype, Signal Transduction/genetics, beta Catenin/genetics

ID: 92703453