Externalization of saw-tooth architecture in small serrated polyps implies the presence of methylation of IGFBP7

Eisuke Kaji, Hideyuki Suzuki, Toshio Uraoka, Takehiro Tanaka, Jun Kato, Mitsuhiro Akita, Nobuya Ohara, Sakiko Hiraoka, Shunsuke Saito, Kazuhide Yamamoto

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Serrated polyps have been considered to be precursors of colorectal cancer with microsatellite instability. However, the biological and/or morphological changes which occur during the course of serrated polyp to cancer remain to be elucidated. Methods Twenty-eight colorectal serrated polyps including five mixed polyps (MP) from 20 patients were observed by chromoendoscopy with magnification, and subsequently resected endoscopically. The presence of mutations in two genes (K-ras and BRAF) and the methylation status of six genes (MLH1-A, MLH1-C, ESR1, P16, SOCS1, and IGFBP7) were examined. Results The 28 polyps included 32 histological serrated lesions (22 sessile serrated adenomas [SSA], six hyperplastic polyps [HP], and four traditional serrated adenoma [TSA]-like lesions). BRAF mutation was frequently observed in SSAs (19/22), while K-ras mutation was dominant in HPs (5/6). The externalization of saw-tooth architecture in serrated polyps was endoscopically observed more frequently in those with high levels of IGFBP7 methylation (P = 0.03). Moreover, the endoscopic finding was observed in five of six small serrated lesions (< 10 mm) which contained both BRAF mutation and high levels of IGFBP7 methylation. TSA-like lesions in small MPs demonstrated the endoscopic finding with no or little MLH1 methylation, while the counterparts in the mixed polyps had high levels of MLH1 methylation with relatively low levels of IGFBP7 methylation. Conclusions Our data suggests two distinct pathways may be involved in the early stages of the serrated pathway: one where MLH1 is primarily methylated, and a second where methylated IGFBP7 is associated with an externalization of saw-tooth architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1270
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Endoscopy
  • IGFBP7
  • Serrated pathway
  • Sessile serrated adenoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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