Gene Summary

Gene:BARD1; BRCA1 associated RING domain 1
Summary:This gene encodes a protein which interacts with the N-terminal region of BRCA1. In addition to its ability to bind BRCA1 in vivo and in vitro, it shares homology with the 2 most conserved regions of BRCA1: the N-terminal RING motif and the C-terminal BRCT domain. The RING motif is a cysteine-rich sequence found in a variety of proteins that regulate cell growth, including the products of tumor suppressor genes and dominant protooncogenes. This protein also contains 3 tandem ankyrin repeats. The BARD1/BRCA1 interaction is disrupted by tumorigenic amino acid substitutions in BRCA1, implying that the formation of a stable complex between these proteins may be an essential aspect of BRCA1 tumor suppression. This protein may be the target of oncogenic mutations in breast or ovarian cancer. Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2013]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:BRCA1-associated RING domain protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 09 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • BRCA2
  • DNA Repair
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • BRCA1
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • p53 Protein
  • Pedigree
  • BARD1
  • Mutation
  • Chromosome 2
  • Genetic Testing
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Missense Mutation
  • DNA Damage
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Messenger RNA
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Cervical Cancer
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Protein Binding
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Sequence Homology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Genotype
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Risk Factors
  • Breast Cancer
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Breast CancerBARD1 and Breast Cancer View Publications106
Ovarian CancerBARD1 and Ovarian Cancer View Publications40
NeuroblastomaBARD1 polymorphisms in Neuroblastoma
In a SNP-based genome-wide association study, Capasso et al (2009) reported that common variations in BARD1 influence susceptibility to high-risk neuroblastoma. The 2 most significant SNPs were rs6435862 and rs3768716. Nguyen et al (2011) and Latorre (2012) also replicated this finding in other populations. Bosse et al (2012) investigated BARD1 in neuroblastoma cell lines and reported that overexpression of BARD1β was sufficient for neoplastic transformation and also that BARD1β stabilized the Aurora family of kinases in neuroblastoma cells - the authors suggest this suggests a role of BARD1 in oncogenicity and supports work to develop Aurora kinase inhibitors as a potential therapy for aggressive neuroblastomas.
View Publications10
Uterine SarcomaBARD1 and Uterine Cancer View Publications5
Cervical CancerBARD1 and Cervical Cancer View Publications4

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: BARD1 (cancer-related)

Takahashi M, Chiba N, Shimodaira H, et al.
OLA1 gene sequencing in patients with BRCA1/2 mutation-negative suspected hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
Breast Cancer. 2017; 24(2):336-340 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Of individuals with suspected hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), approximately 30-70 % do not harbor mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which suggests that these individuals have other genetic or epigenetic alterations that could lead to the onset of this hereditary disease. We have recently identified OLA1 as a novel BRCA1/BARD1-interacting protein. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate whether any genetic mutations in OLA1 are detected among patients with suspected HBOC without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.
METHODS: Among 53 patients with suspected HBOC enrolled at Hoshi General Hospital, 23 patients without any BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations were analyzed for OLA1 mutations. Genomic DNA was extracted from the peripheral blood samples. PCR and Sanger sequencing were performed to elucidate whether there were any mutations in any of the ten exons and flanking introns of the OLA1 gene.
RESULTS: No germline sequence variation was detected in the OLA1 gene among the 23 patients enrolled in this study.
CONCLUSIONS: No germline mutations were found in the OLA1 gene among the cohort of patients with suspected HBOC without BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. Further studies are needed to clarify whether other mutations/epigenetic alterations are involved in the pathogenesis of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation-negative inherited disease with breast or ovarian cancer.

González-Rivera M, Lobo M, López-Tarruella S, et al.
Frequency of germline DNA genetic findings in an unselected prospective cohort of triple-negative breast cancer patients participating in a platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy trial.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2016; 156(3):507-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe the status and frequency of germline DNA genetic findings in an unselected prospective cohort of triple negative breast cancer patients participating in a platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy trial. Study population includes 124 consecutive patients with stage II-III TNBC from a trial exploring the antitumor activity of neoadjuvant carboplatin/docetaxel chemotherapy enrolled between 2012 and March 2015, to determine the frequency of germline DNA genetic mutations. 17.1 % of the patients with germline DNA tested had deleterious mutations in any of the analyzed genes (12.38 % in BRCA1, 1.9 % in BRCA2 and BARD1 and 0.95 % in RAD51D). Attending the intrinsic subtype, all the BRCA1/2 carriers tested had basal-like subtype. Among wild-type (WT) patients, 70.11 % had basal subtype, 16.09 % HER2 enriched, 1.15 % Luminal B, and 4.60 % Normal-like. Mean age at diagnosis was significantly lower in mutation-carriers compared with no carriers (43.72 vs 53.10, p = 0.004). 3 BRCA1/2 carriers were detected between 51 and 60 years, and only one deleterious mutation (BARD1) over 60 years. A positive familiar history of breast and ovarian cancer was more frequent in patients with deleterious mutations (39.39 vs 17.94 %, p = 0.043). Our study confirms the prevalence of BRCA1/2 mutations in TNBC patients. TNBC should therefore be considered by itself as a criterion for BRCA1/2 genetic testing. Determination of other breast cancer predisposition genes implicated in homologous recombination should also be discussed in this population. However, no definitive conclusions can be reached due to the low prevalence and the uncertain clinical impact of most of the genes included.

Kamdar SN, Ho LT, Kron KJ, et al.
Dynamic interplay between locus-specific DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation regulates distinct biological pathways in prostate carcinogenesis.
Clin Epigenetics. 2016; 8:32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite the significant global loss of DNA hydroxymethylation marks in prostate cancer tissues, the locus-specific role of hydroxymethylation in prostate tumorigenesis is unknown. We characterized hydroxymethylation and methylation marks by performing whole-genome next-generation sequencing in representative normal and prostate cancer-derived cell lines in order to determine functional pathways and key genes regulated by these epigenomic modifications in cancer.
RESULTS: Our cell line model shows disruption of hydroxymethylation distribution in cancer, with global loss and highly specific gain in promoter and CpG island regions. Significantly, we observed locus-specific retention of hydroxymethylation marks in specific intronic and intergenic regions which may play a novel role in the regulation of gene expression in critical functional pathways, such as BARD1 signaling and steroid hormone receptor signaling in cancer. We confirm a modest correlation of hydroxymethylation with expression in intragenic regions in prostate cancer, while identifying an original role for intergenic hydroxymethylation in differentially expressed regulatory pathways in cancer. We also demonstrate a successful strategy for the identification and validation of key candidate genes from differentially regulated biological pathways in prostate cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate a distinct function for aberrant hydroxymethylation within each genomic feature in cancer, suggesting a specific and complex role for the deregulation of hydroxymethylation in tumorigenesis, similar to methylation. Subsequently, our characterization of key cellular pathways exhibiting dynamic enrichment patterns for methylation and hydroxymethylation marks may allow us to identify differentially epigenetically modified target genes implicated in prostate cancer tumorigenesis.

Zhang R, Zou Y, Zhu J, et al.
The Association between GWAS-identified BARD1 Gene SNPs and Neuroblastoma Susceptibility in a Southern Chinese Population.
Int J Med Sci. 2016; 13(2):133-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) has found that some common variations in the BARD1 gene were associated with neuroblastoma susceptibility especially for high-risk subjects, and the associations have been validated in Caucasians and African-Americans. However, the associations between BARD1 gene polymorphisms and neuroblastoma susceptibility have not been studied among Asians, not to mention Chinese subjects. In the present study, we investigated the association of three BARD1 polymorphisms (rs7585356 G>A, rs6435862 T>G and rs3768716 A>G) with neuroblastoma susceptibility in 201 neuroblastoma patients and 531 controls using TaqMan methodology. Overall, none of these polymorphisms was significantly associated with neuroblastoma susceptibility. However, stratified analysis showed a more profound association between neuroblastoma risk and rs6435862 TG/GG variant genotypes among older children (adjusted OR=1.55, 95% CI=1.04-2.31), and children with adrenal gland-originated disease (adjusted OR=2.94, 95% CI=1.40-6.18), or with ISSN clinical stages III+IV disease (adjusted OR=1.75, 95% CI=1.09-2.84). Similar results were observed for the variant genotypes of rs3768716 A>G polymorphism among these three subgroups. Our results suggest that the BARD1 rs6435862 T>G and rs3768716 A>G polymorphisms may contribute to increased susceptibility to neuroblastoma, especially for the subjects at age ≥12 months, with adrenal gland-originated or with late clinical stage neuroblastoma. These findings need further validation by prospective studies with larger sample size with subjects enrolled from multicenter, involving different ethnicities.

Irminger-Finger I, Ratajska M, Pilyugin M
New concepts on BARD1: Regulator of BRCA pathways and beyond.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016; 72:1-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
For nearly two decades most research on BARD1 was closely linked to research on BRCA1, the breast cancer predisposition gene. The co-expression of BARD1 and BRCA1 genes in most tissues, the nearly identical phenotype of Bard1 and Brca1 knock-out mice, and the fact that BRCA1 and BARD1 proteins form a stable complex, led to the general assumption that BARD1 acts as an accessory to BRCA1. More recent research on both proteins showed that BRCA1 and BARD1 might have common as well as separate functions. This review is an overview of how BARD1 functions and controls BRCA1. It highlights also experimental evidence for dominant negative, tumor promoting, functions of aberrant isoforms of BARD1 that are associated with and drivers of various types of cancer.

Norquist BM, Harrell MI, Brady MF, et al.
Inherited Mutations in Women With Ovarian Carcinoma.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(4):482-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are relatively common in women with ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinoma (OC) causing a greatly increased lifetime risk of these cancers, but the frequency and relevance of inherited mutations in other genes is less well characterized.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency and importance of germline mutations in cancer-associated genes in OC.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A study population of 1915 woman with OC and available germline DNA were identified from the University of Washington (UW) gynecologic tissue bank (n = 570) and from Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) phase III clinical trials 218 (n = 788) and 262 (n = 557). Patients were enrolled at diagnosis and were not selected for age or family history. Germline DNA was sequenced from women with OC using a targeted capture and multiplex sequencing assay.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Mutation frequencies in OC were compared with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute GO Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) and the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). Clinical characteristics and survival were assessed by mutation status.
RESULTS: Overall, the median (range) age at diagnosis was 60 (28-91) years in patients recruited from UW and 61 (23-87) years in patients recruited from the GOG trials. A higher number of black women were recruited from the GOG trials (4.3% vs 1.4%; P = .009); but in patients recruited from UW, there was a higher proportion of fallopian tube carcinomas (13.3% vs 5.7%; P < .001); stage I and II disease (14.6% vs 0% [GOG trials were restricted to advanced-stage cancer]); and nonserous carcinomas (29.9% vs 13.1%, P < .001). Of 1915 patients, 280 (15%) had mutations in BRCA1 (n = 182), or BRCA2 (n = 98), and 8 (0.4%) had mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes. Mutations in BRIP1 (n = 26), RAD51C (n = 11), RAD51D (n = 11), PALB2 (n = 12), and BARD1 (n = 4) were significantly more common in patients with OC than in the ESP or ExAC, present in 3.3%. Race, histologic subtype, and disease site were not predictive of mutation frequency. Patients with a BRCA2 mutation from the GOG trials had longer progression-free survival (hazard ratio [HR], 0.60; 95% CI, 0.45-0.79; P < .001) and overall survival (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.25-0.60; P < .001) compared with those without mutations.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Of 1915 patients with OC, 347 (18%) carried pathogenic germline mutations in genes associated with OC risk. PALB2 and BARD1 are suspected OC genes and together with established OC genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, RAD51C, RAD51D, MSH2, MLH1, PMS2, and MSH6) bring the total number of genes suspected to cause hereditary OC to 11.

Bernards SS, Norquist BM, Harrell MI, et al.
Genetic characterization of early onset ovarian carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(2):221-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Ovarian carcinoma (OC) is rare in young women and the fraction of early onset OC attributable to inherited mutations in known OC genes is uncertain. We sought to characterize the fraction of OC that is heritable in women diagnosed with ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal carcinoma at forty years of age or younger.
METHODS: We sequenced germline DNA from forty-seven women diagnosed with OC at age 40 or younger ascertained through a gynecologic oncology tissue bank or referred from outside providers using BROCA, a targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing platform that can detect all mutation classes. We evaluated 11 genes associated with ovarian carcinoma (BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, BRIP1, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALB2, PMS2, RAD51D, and RAD51C) and additional candidate genes in DNA repair (ATM, BAP1, CHEK2, MRE11A, NBN, PTEN, TP53). We counted only clearly damaging mutations.
RESULTS: Damaging mutations in OC genes were identified in 13 of 47 (28%) subjects, of which 10 (77%) occurred in BRCA1 and one each occurred in BRCA2, MSH2, and RAD51D. Women with a strong family history were no more likely to have an OC gene mutation (8/17, 47%) than those without a strong family history (9/30, 30%, P=0.35). Additionally, damaging mutations in non-OC genes were identified, one in NBN and one in CHEK2.
CONCLUSIONS: A high proportion of young women with invasive OC have mutations in BRCA1, and a smaller fraction have mutations in other known OC genes. Family history was not associated with mutation status in these early onset cases.

Lee YK, Park NH, Lee H
Clinicopathological values of NBS1 and DNA damage response genes in epithelial ovarian cancers.
Exp Mol Med. 2015; 47:e195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) are highly lethal gynecological malignancies with a high recurrence rate. Therefore, developing prognostic markers for recurrence after chemotherapy is crucial for the treatment of ovarian cancers. As ovarian cancers frequently respond to DNA-damaging agents, we assessed the clinicopathological significance of key double-strand DNA break (DSB) repair genes, including BRCA1, BRCA2, BARD1, ATM, RAD51 and NBS1 in EOC cell lines and paraffin-embedded tissue sections from 140 EOC patients treated with cytoreductive surgery, followed by platinum-based chemotherapy. These samples were analyzed for the clinicopathological impact of DSB genes by western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time PCR. Of the DSB repair genes, BRCA1, ATM and NBS1, which are involved in the homologous recombination-mediated repair pathway, were related to aggressive parameters in EOC. When survival analysis was performed, NBS1 expression exhibited an association with EOC recurrence. Specifically, increased NBS1 expression was found in 107 out of 140 cases (76.0%) and correlated with advanced stage (P=0.001), high grade (P=0.001) and serous histology (P=0.008). The median recurrence-free survival in patients with positive and negative expression of NBS1 was 30 and 78 months, respectively (P=0.0068). In multivariate analysis, NBS1 was an independent prognostic factor for the recurrence of EOC. Together, these results suggest that NBS1 is a marker of poor prognosis for the recurrence of EOC and is associated with aggressive clinicopathological parameters.

Li J, Meeks H, Feng BJ, et al.
Targeted massively parallel sequencing of a panel of putative breast cancer susceptibility genes in a large cohort of multiple-case breast and ovarian cancer families.
J Med Genet. 2016; 53(1):34-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Gene panel testing for breast cancer susceptibility has become relatively cheap and accessible. However, the breast cancer risks associated with mutations in many genes included in these panels are unknown.
METHODS: We performed custom-designed targeted sequencing covering the coding exons of 17 known and putative breast cancer susceptibility genes in 660 non-BRCA1/2 women with familial breast cancer. Putative deleterious mutations were genotyped in relevant family members to assess co-segregation of each variant with disease. We used maximum likelihood models to estimate the breast cancer risks associated with mutations in each of the genes.
RESULTS: We found 31 putative deleterious mutations in 7 known breast cancer susceptibility genes (TP53, PALB2, ATM, CHEK2, CDH1, PTEN and STK11) in 45 cases, and 22 potential deleterious mutations in 31 cases in 8 other genes (BARD1, BRIP1, MRE11, NBN, RAD50, RAD51C, RAD51D and CDK4). The relevant variants were then genotyped in 558 family members. Assuming a constant relative risk of breast cancer across age groups, only variants in CDH1, CHEK2, PALB2 and TP53 showed evidence of a significantly increased risk of breast cancer, with some supportive evidence that mutations in ATM confer moderate risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Panel testing for these breast cancer families provided additional relevant clinical information for <2% of families. We demonstrated that segregation analysis has some potential to help estimate the breast cancer risks associated with mutations in breast cancer susceptibility genes, but very large case-control sequencing studies and/or larger family-based studies will be needed to define the risks more accurately.

Fukuda T, Tsuruga T, Kuroda T, et al.
Functional Link between BRCA1 and BAP1 through Histone H2A, Heterochromatin and DNA Damage Response.
Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2016; 16(2):101-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRCA1, a breast and ovarian tumor suppressor, maintains genome stability through its functions in DNA repair, cell-cycle checkpoints, heterochromatin formation and centrosome amplification. BRCA1 interacts with BARD1 to constitute a RING heterodimer-type E3 ubiquitin ligase. BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) is a deubiquitinating enzyme that also regulates similar cellular events, including cell-cycle control, transcription, chromatin modification and DNA damage response. Germline mutations in BRCA1 predispose individuals to breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, peritoneal, pancreatic and prostate cancers, whereas BAP1 mutations combined with certain types of DNA damage provoke malignant mesothelioma, uveal and cutaneous melanoma, lung adenocarcinoma and renal cell carcinoma. Although BAP1 was initially discovered as a BRCA1-associated protein, recent mass-spectrometric screens of BAP1 interactors failed to detect BRCA1, raising questions about their presumed endogenous interaction. However, in addition to physical interaction, new evidence indicates a functional correlation between the two proteins. This review summarizes BAP1 function in histone modification and the DNA damage response, focusing on BAP1's relevance to BRCA1 function. An understanding of the cooperative functions between BRCA1 and BAP1 may uncover opportunities for new drug targets in a variety of related cancers.

Boukerroucha M, Josse C, ElGuendi S, et al.
Evaluation of BRCA1-related molecular features and microRNAs as prognostic factors for triple negative breast cancers.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:755 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The BRCA1 gene plays a key role in triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs), in which its expression can be lost by multiple mechanisms: germinal mutation followed by deletion of the second allele; negative regulation by promoter methylation; or miRNA-mediated silencing. This study aimed to establish a correlation among the BRCA1-related molecular parameters, tumor characteristics and clinical follow-up of patients to find new prognostic factors.
METHODS: BRCA1 protein and mRNA expression was quantified in situ in the TNBCs of 69 patients. BRCA1 promoter methylation status was checked, as well as cytokeratin 5/6 expression. Maintenance of expressed BRCA1 protein interaction with BARD1 was quantified, as a marker of BRCA1 functionality, and the tumor expression profiles of 27 microRNAs were determined.
RESULTS: miR-548c-5p was emphasized as a new independent prognostic factor in TNBC. A combination of the tumoral expression of miR-548c and three other known prognostic parameters (tumor size, lymph node invasion and CK 5/6 expression status) allowed for relapse prediction by logistic regression with an area under the curve (AUC) = 0.96. BRCA1 mRNA and protein in situ expression, as well as the amount of BRCA1 ligated to BARD1 in the tumor, lacked any associations with patient outcomes, likely due to high intratumoral heterogeneity, and thus could not be used for clinical purposes.
CONCLUSIONS: In situ BRCA1-related expression parameters could be used for clinical purposes at the time of diagnosis. In contrast, miR-548c-5p showed a promising potential as a prognostic factor in TNBC.

Hu C, Hart SN, Bamlet WR, et al.
Prevalence of Pathogenic Mutations in Cancer Predisposition Genes among Pancreatic Cancer Patients.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016; 25(1):207-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The prevalence of germline pathogenic mutations in a comprehensive panel of cancer predisposition genes is not well-defined for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). To estimate the frequency of mutations in a panel of 22 cancer predisposition genes, 96 patients unselected for a family history of cancer who were recruited to the Mayo Clinic Pancreatic Cancer patient registry over a 12-month period were screened by next-generation sequencing. Fourteen pathogenic mutations in 13 patients (13.5%) were identified in eight genes: four in ATM, two in BRCA2, CHEK2, and MSH6, and one in BARD1, BRCA1, FANCM, and NBN. These included nine mutations (9.4%) in established pancreatic cancer genes. Three mutations were found in patients with a first-degree relative with PDAC, and 10 mutations were found in patients with first- or second-degree relatives with breast, pancreas, colorectal, ovarian, or endometrial cancers. These results suggest that a substantial proportion of patients with PDAC carry germline mutations in predisposition genes associated with other cancers and that a better understanding of pancreatic cancer risk will depend on evaluation of families with broad constellations of tumors. These findings highlight the need for recommendations governing germline gene-panel testing of patients with pancreatic cancer.

Gilmore BL, Winton CE, Demmert AC, et al.
A Molecular Toolkit to Visualize Native Protein Assemblies in the Context of Human Disease.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:14440 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
We present a new molecular toolkit to investigate protein assemblies natively formed in the context of human disease. The system employs tunable microchips that can be decorated with switchable adaptor molecules to select for target proteins of interest and analyze them using molecular microscopy. Implementing our new streamlined microchip approach, we could directly visualize BRCA1 gene regulatory complexes from patient-derived cancer cells for the first time.

Wiener D, Gajardo-Meneses P, Ortega-Hernández V, et al.
BRCA1 and BARD1 colocalize mainly in the cytoplasm of breast cancer tumors, and their isoforms show differential expression.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 153(3):669-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRCA1 has been found to be absent or miss localized in the cytoplasm in a relevant proportion of breast cancer tumors with no germline mutations. BRCA1 main function is in the nucleus, and its interaction with BARD1 is relevant for its nuclear translocation and retention. Our aim was to analyze the sub-cellular localization of BRCA1 and BARD1 in breast cancer tumors, and determine the level of expression of their splice variants BRCA1-Δ11q and BARD1-α and BARD1-β. BRCA1 and BARD1 expressions were performed by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence in 103 breast cancer tumors. Colocalization was determined by confocal microscopy. Transcript variants were determined by qRT-PCR. We found BRCA1 localized in the cytoplasm with BARD1 in 51.4 % of tumors. An exclusive nuclear localization of both proteins was observed in 7/103 tumors (6.8 %). Indeed, these tumors displayed an apparent nucleolar colocalization of BARD1 and BRCA1. In relation to splice variants, there is a tendency to an overexpression of BARD1-α mRNA (30 % of tumors) and a decreased expression of BARD1-β (41 %). BRCA1 full-length was downregulated in 63 % of tumors, and 37 % showed BRCA1-Δ11q variant overexpressed. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the expression and sub-cellular localization of BRCA1 in breast cancer tumors. Interaction of BRCA1 and BARD1 seems to be not affected in 58.2 % of tumors, which showed colocalization of both proteins. The absence of BRCA1 in 41 % of tumors reveals a BRCAness phenotype, constituting an excellent marker for therapy sensitivity, to platinum drugs or PARP inhibitors.

Cheung M, Kadariya Y, Pei J, et al.
An asbestos-exposed family with multiple cases of pleural malignant mesothelioma without inheritance of a predisposing BAP1 mutation.
Cancer Genet. 2015; 208(10):502-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
We report a family with domestic exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of multiple cancers, including eight pleural malignant mesotheliomas and several other lung or pleural tumors. DNA sequence analysis revealed no evidence for an inherited mutation of BAP1. Sequence analysis of other potentially relevant genes, including TP53, CDKN2A, and BARD1, also revealed no mutation. DNA microarray analysis of tissue from two mesotheliomas revealed multiple genomic imbalances, including consistent losses of overlapping segments in 2q, 6q, 9p, 14q, 15q, and 22q, but no losses of chromosome 3 harboring the BAP1 locus. However, the results of immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated loss of nuclear BAP1 staining in three of six mesotheliomas tested, suggesting that somatic alterations of BAP1 occurred in a subset of tumors from this family. Since mesothelioma could be confirmed in only a single generation, domestic exposure to asbestos may be the predominant cause of mesothelioma in this family. Given the existence of unspecified malignant pleural tumors and lung cancers in a prior generation, we discuss the possibility that some other tumor susceptibility or modifier gene(s) may contribute to the high incidence of mesothelioma in this family. Because the incidence of mesothelioma in this family is higher than that expected even in workers heavily exposed to asbestos, we conclude that both asbestos exposure and genetic factors have played a role in the high rate of mesothelioma and potentially other pleural or lung cancers seen in this family. 

Ratajska M, Matusiak M, Kuzniacka A, et al.
Cancer predisposing BARD1 mutations affect exon skipping and are associated with overexpression of specific BARD1 isoforms.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(5):2609-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
BARD1 is the main binding partner of BRCA1 and is required for its stability and tumor-suppressor functions. In breast cancer and other epithelial cell carcinomas, alternatively spliced isoforms of BARD1 are highly upregulated and correlated with poor outcome. Recent data indicate that germline mutations of BARD1 may predispose to breast and/or ovarian cancer. To evaluate the role of BARD1 germline mutations in predisposition to ovarian cancer we scanned a cohort of 255 patients for the presence of previously reported mutations located in exons 5, 8 and 10 using high-resolution melting analysis. Within this group we identified single-patients carrying mutation in exon 8 (c.1690C>T, p.Gln564Ter), two different variants in exon 10 (c.1972C>T, p.Arg658Tyr; c.1977A>G, p.=) and a carrier of novel missense mutation located in exon 5 (c.1361C>T, p.Pro454Leu). Three out of four identified mutations alter exonic splicing enhancing motives and result in expression of incorrect splicing skipping of exons 5, 8, and 2-9, respectively. Our data indicate that BARD1 variants may predispose to ovarian cancer in limited number of patients although based on actual data it is difficult to estimate its actual penetrance.

Ramus SJ, Song H, Dicks E, et al.
Germline Mutations in the BRIP1, BARD1, PALB2, and NBN Genes in Women With Ovarian Cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(11) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy, responsible for 13 000 deaths per year in the United States. Risk prediction based on identifying germline mutations in ovarian cancer susceptibility genes could have a clinically significant impact on reducing disease mortality.
METHODS: Next generation sequencing was used to identify germline mutations in the coding regions of four candidate susceptibility genes-BRIP1, BARD1, PALB2 and NBN-in 3236 invasive EOC case patients and 3431 control patients of European origin, and in 2000 unaffected high-risk women from a clinical screening trial of ovarian cancer (UKFOCSS). For each gene, we estimated the prevalence and EOC risks and evaluated associations between germline variant status and clinical and epidemiological risk factor information. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: We found an increased frequency of deleterious mutations in BRIP1 in case patients (0.9%) and in the UKFOCSS participants (0.6%) compared with control patients (0.09%) (P = 1 x 10(-4) and 8 x 10(-4), respectively), but no differences for BARD1 (P = .39), NBN1 ( P = .61), or PALB2 (P = .08). There was also a difference in the frequency of rare missense variants in BRIP1 between case patients and control patients (P = 5.5 x 10(-4)). The relative risks associated with BRIP1 mutations were 11.22 for invasive EOC (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.22 to 34.10, P = 1 x 10(-4)) and 14.09 for high-grade serous disease (95% CI = 4.04 to 45.02, P = 2 x 10(-5)). Segregation analysis in families estimated the average relative risks in BRIP1 mutation carriers compared with the general population to be 3.41 (95% CI = 2.12 to 5.54, P = 7×10(-7)).
CONCLUSIONS: Deleterious germline mutations in BRIP1 are associated with a moderate increase in EOC risk. These data have clinical implications for risk prediction and prevention approaches for ovarian cancer and emphasize the critical need for risk estimates based on very large sample sizes before genes of moderate penetrance have clinical utility in cancer prevention.

Wiegmans AP, Yap PY, Ward A, et al.
Differences in Expression of Key DNA Damage Repair Genes after Epigenetic-Induced BRCAness Dictate Synthetic Lethality with PARP1 Inhibition.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2015; 14(10):2321-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
The triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype represents a cancer that is highly aggressive with poor patient outcome. Current preclinical success has been gained through synthetic lethality, targeting genome instability with PARP inhibition in breast cancer cells that harbor silencing of the homologous recombination (HR) pathway. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are a class of drugs that mediate epigenetic changes in expression of HR pathway genes. Here, we compare the activity of the pan-HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), the class I/IIa HDAC inhibitor valproic acid (VPA), and the HDAC1/2-specific inhibitor romidepsin (ROMI) for their capability to regulate DNA damage repair gene expression and in sensitizing TNBC to PARPi. We found that two of the HDACis tested, SAHA and ROMI, but not VPA, indeed inhibit HR repair and that RAD51, BARD1, and FANCD2 represent key proteins whose inhibition is required for HDACi-mediated therapy with PARP inhibition in TNBC. We also observed that restoration of BRCA1 function stabilizes the genome compared with mutant BRCA1 that results in enhanced polyploid population after combination treatment with HDACi and PARPi. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of the key HR protein RAD51 represents a mechanism for this resistance, promoting aberrant repair and the enhanced polyploidy observed. These findings highlight the key components of HR in guiding synthetic lethality with PARP inhibition and support the rationale for utilizing the novel combination of HDACi and PARPi against TNBC in the clinical setting.

Domagala P, Jakubowska A, Jaworska-Bieniek K, et al.
Prevalence of Germline Mutations in Genes Engaged in DNA Damage Repair by Homologous Recombination in Patients with Triple-Negative and Hereditary Non-Triple-Negative Breast Cancers.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0130393 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study sought to assess the prevalence of common germline mutations in several genes engaged in the repair of DNA double-strand break by homologous recombination in patients with triple-negative breast cancers and hereditary non-triple-negative breast cancers. Tumors deficient in this type of DNA damage repair are known to be especially sensitive to DNA cross-linking agents (e.g., platinum drugs) and to poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors.
METHODS: Genetic testing was performed for 36 common germline mutations in genes engaged in the repair of DNA by homologous recombination, i.e., BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, NBN, ATM, PALB2, BARD1, and RAD51D, in 202 consecutive patients with triple-negative breast cancers and hereditary non-triple-negative breast cancers.
RESULTS: Thirty five (22.2%) of 158 patients in the triple-negative group carried mutations in genes involved in DNA repair by homologous recombination, while 10 (22.7%) of the 44 patients in the hereditary non-triple-negative group carried such mutations. Mutations in BRCA1 were most frequent in patients with triple-negative breast cancer (18.4%), and mutations in CHEK2 were most frequent in patients with hereditary non-triple-negative breast cancers (15.9%). In addition, in the triple-negative group, mutations in CHEK2, NBN, and ATM (3.8% combined) were found, while mutations in BRCA1, NBN, and PALB2 (6.8% combined) were identified in the hereditary non-triple-negative group.
CONCLUSIONS: Identifying mutations in genes engaged in DNA damage repair by homologous recombination other than BRCA1/2 can substantially increase the proportion of patients with triple-negative breast cancer and hereditary non-triple-negative breast cancer who may be eligible for therapy using PARP inhibitors and platinum drugs.

Fukuda T, Wu W, Okada M, et al.
Class I histone deacetylase inhibitors inhibit the retention of BRCA1 and 53BP1 at the site of DNA damage.
Cancer Sci. 2015; 106(8):1050-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BRCA1 and 53BP1 antagonistically regulate homology-directed repair (HDR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB). The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A directly inhibits the retention of 53BP1 at DSB sites by acetylating histone H4 (H4ac), which interferes with 53BP1 binding to dimethylated histone H4 Lys20 (H4K20me2). Conversely, we recently found that the retention of the BRCA1/BARD1 complex is also affected by another methylated histone residue, H3K9me2, which can be suppressed by the histone lysine methyltransferase (HKMT) inhibitor UNC0638. Here, we investigate the effects of the class I HDAC inhibitors MS-275 and FK228 compared to UNC0638 on histone modifications and the DNA damage response. In addition to H4ac, the HDAC inhibitors induce H3K9ac and inhibit H3K9me2 at doses that do not affect the expression levels of DNA repair genes. By contrast, UNC0638 selectively inhibits H3K9me2 without affecting the levels of H3K9ac, H3K56ac or H4ac. Reflecting their effects on histone modifications, the HDAC inhibitors inhibit ionizing radiation-induced foci (IRIF) formation of BRCA1 and BARD1 as well as 53BP1 and RIF1, whereas UNC0638 suppresses IRIF formation of BRCA1 and BARD1 but not 53BP1 and RIF1. Although HDAC inhibitors suppressed HDR, they did not cooperate with the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib to block cancer cell growth, possibly due to simultaneous suppression of NHEJ pathway components. Collectively, these results suggest the mechanism by that HDAC inhibitors inhibit both the HDR and NHEJ pathways, whereas HKMT inhibitor inhibits only the HDR pathway; this finding may affect the chemosensitizing effects of the inhibitors.

De Brakeleer S, De Grève J, Desmedt C, et al.
Frequent incidence of BARD1-truncating mutations in germline DNA from triple-negative breast cancer patients.
Clin Genet. 2016; 89(3):336-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10-20% of all breast cancers (BCs), and conventional chemotherapy is the only effective systemic treatment. Germline BRCA1/2 mutations are found in approximately 15% of TNBC patients. In the past, we have documented pathogenic mutations in BARD1, a BRCA1 interacting protein, in families at high risk for BC. In this study, we have analyzed germline DNA from 61 estrogen receptor negative patients (of which 42 were TNBC) for the presence of mutations in the BRCA1, BRCA2 and BARD1 gene. BRCA1/2 mutations were found in 8 out of 42 (19%) TNBC patients, but not in the ER-/HER2+ cohort. We also found four good candidate pathogenic BARD1 mutations in the TNBC cohort, including two protein-truncating mutations (p.Gln564Ter and p.Arg641Ter). Our data suggest that TNBC patients are enriched for pathogenic BARD1 germline mutations as compared to control samples and high BC risk families. Ten of the 42 investigated TNBC patients carry a BRCA pathway mutation (in BRCA1, BRCA2 or BARD1) rendering them susceptible to homologous recombination deficiency. These patients should become eligible for exploring the efficacy of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors.

Klonowska K, Ratajska M, Czubak K, et al.
Analysis of large mutations in BARD1 in patients with breast and/or ovarian cancer: the Polish population as an example.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:10424 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Only approximately 50% of all familial breast cancers can be explained by known genetic factors, including mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2. One of the most extensively studied candidates for breast and/or ovarian cancer susceptibility is BARD1. Although it was suggested that large mutations may contribute substantially to the deleterious variants of BARD1, no systematic study of the large mutations in BARD1 has been performed. To further elucidate the role of large mutations in BARD1, we designed a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay and performed an analysis of 504 women with a familial breast and/or ovarian cancer and 313 patients with ovarian cancer. The investigation did not reveal any large mutations in the BARD1 gene. Although the analysis was not focused on identification of small mutations, we detected seven deleterious or potentially deleterious point mutations, which contribute substantially to the total number of BARD1 mutations detected so far. In conclusion, although we cannot exclude the presence of large mutations in BARD1, our study indicates that such mutations do not contribute substantially to the risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer. However, it has to be noted that our results may be specific to the Polish population.

Amemiya Y, Bacopulos S, Al-Shawarby M, et al.
A Comparative Analysis of Breast and Ovarian Cancer-related Gene Mutations in Canadian and Saudi Arabian Patients with Breast Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(5):2601-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous reports have indicated that patients with breast cancer who are from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia have a different gene expression profile from that known for their age-matched North American population. In the present study, breast tumor samples from Canadian and Saudi Arabian patients were screened for known and unknown mutations within BRCA1 and BRCA2 as well as 21 additional genes, including, ATM, BARD1, CDH1, P53, EPCAM, MSH6, and RAD50, which have been implicated in breast and ovarian cancer predisposition. A total of 129 non-synonymous mutations were identified by Ion Torrent amplicon sequencing. Forty-one mutations in 18 genes were unique to the Canadian population and 59 mutations in 20 genes were unique to the Saudi Arabian population. A total of 55/129 unique mutations in 22 genes were not previously reported in the database. Twenty-nine mutations in 16 genes were common to both populations; one of these mutations was not previously reported in the database. The most frequently mutated gene in both populations was the BRCA2 gene, followed by BRCA1 and TP53. Unique to this work is the identification of mutations frequently found in the Saudi Arabian population that are rare in the Canadian population. This work will allow direction of genetic analysis resources toward the clinical needs of each particular population.

Liu Y, Ao X, Jia Z, et al.
FOXK2 transcription factor suppresses ERα-positive breast cancer cell growth through down-regulating the stability of ERα via mechanism involving BRCA1/BARD1.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:8796 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Estrogen receptors (ERs) are critical regulators of breast cancer development. Identification of molecules that regulate the function of ERs may facilitate the development of more effective breast cancer treatment strategies. In this study, we showed that the forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 interacted with ERα, and inhibited ERα-regulated transcriptional activities by enhancing the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ERα. This process involved the interaction between FOXK2 and BRCA1/BARD1, the E3 ubiquitin ligase of ERα. FOXK2 interacted with BARD1 and acted as a scaffold protein for BRCA1/BARD1 and ERα, leading to enhanced degradation of ERα, which eventually accounted for its decreased transcriptional activity. Consistent with these observations, overexpression of FOXK2 inhibited the transcriptional activity of ERα, decreased the transcription of ERα target genes, and suppressed the proliferation of ERα-positive breast cancer cells. In contract, knockdown of FOXK2 in MCF-7 cells promoted cell proliferation. However, when ERα was also knocked down, knockdown of FOXK2 had no effect on cell proliferation. These findings suggested that FOXK2 might act as a negative regulator of ERα, and its association with both ERα and BRCA1/BARD1 could lead to the down-regulation of ERα transcriptional activity, effectively regulating the function of ERα.

Aleskandarany M, Caracappa D, Nolan CC, et al.
DNA damage response markers are differentially expressed in BRCA-mutated breast cancers.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 150(1):81-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Cells have stringent DNA repair pathways that are specific for each different set of DNA lesions which is accomplished through the integration of complex array of proteins. However, BRCA-mutated breast cancer (BC) has defective DNA repair mechanisms. This study aims to investigate differential expression of a large panel of DNA repair markers to characterise DNA repair mechanisms in BRCA-associated tumours compared to sporadic tumours in an attempt to characterise these tumours in routine practice. Immunohistochemistry and tissue microarray technology were applied to a cohort of clinically annotated series of sporadic (n = 1849), BRCA1-mutated (n = 48), and BRCA2-mutated (n = 27) BC. The following DNA damage response (DDR) markers are used; BRCA1, BRCA2, RAD51, Ku70/Ku80, BARD, PARP1 (cleaved), PARP1 (non-cleaved), and P53 in addition to basal cytokeratins, ER, PR, and HER2. A significant proportion of BRCA1 tumours were positive for PARP1 (non-cleaved), and negative for BARD1 and RAD51 compared with sporadic BC. BRCA2 tumours were significantly positive for PARP1 (non-cleaved) compared with sporadic tumours. RAD51 was significantly higher in BRCA1 compared with BRCA2 tumours (p = 0.005). When BRCA1/2 BCs were compared to triple-negative (TN) sporadic tumours of the studied DDR proteins, BARD1 (p < 0.001), PARP1 (non-cleaved) (p < 0.001), and P53 (p = 0.002) remained significantly different in BRCA1/2 tumours compared with TN BC. DNA repair markers showed differential expression in BRCA-mutated tumours, with a substantial degree of disruption of DNA repair pathways in sporadic BC especially TN BC. DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair is assisted by PARP1 expression in BRCA-mutated tumours, whereas the loss of DSB repair via RAD51 is predominant in BRCA1 rather than BRCA2 BC.

Al-Kaabi MM, Alshareeda AT, Jerjees DA, et al.
Checkpoint kinase1 (CHK1) is an important biomarker in breast cancer having a role in chemotherapy response.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(5):901-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Checkpoint kinase1 (CHK1), which is a key component of DNA-damage-activated checkpoint signalling response, may have a role in breast cancer (BC) pathogenesis and influence response to chemotherapy. This study investigated the clinicopathological significance of phosphorylated CHK1 (pCHK1) protein in BC.
METHOD: pCHK1 protein expression was assessed using immunohistochemistry in a large, well-characterized annotated series of early-stage primary operable invasive BC prepared as tissue microarray (n=1200).
RESULT: pCHK1 showed nuclear and/or cytoplasmic expression. Tumours with nuclear expression showed positive associations with favourable prognostic features such as lower grade, lower mitotic activity, expression of hormone receptor and lack of expression of KI67 and PI3K (P<0.001). On the other hand, cytoplasmic expression was associated with features of poor prognosis such as higher grade, triple-negative phenotype and expression of KI67, p53, AKT and PI3K. pCHK1 expression showed an association with DNA damage response (ATM, RAD51, BRCA1, KU70/KU80, DNA-PKCα and BARD1) and sumoylation (UBC9 and PIASγ) biomarkers. Subcellular localisation of pCHK1 was associated with the expression of the nuclear transport protein KPNA2. Positive nuclear expression predicted better survival outcome in patients who did not receive chemotherapy in the whole series and in ER-positive tumours. In ER-negative and triple-negative subgroups, nuclear pCHK1 predicted shorter survival in patients who received cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-florouracil chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that pCHK1 may have prognostic and predictive significance in BC. Subcellular localisation of pCHK1 protein is related to its function.

Ip JC, Pang TC, Glover AR, et al.
Immunohistochemical validation of overexpressed genes identified by global expression microarrays in adrenocortical carcinoma reveals potential predictive and prognostic biomarkers.
Oncologist. 2015; 20(3):247-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to identify novel protein signatures that would predict clinical outcomes in a large cohort of patients with ACC based on data from previous gene expression microarray studies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A tissue microarray was generated from the paraffin tissue blocks of 61 patients with clinical outcomes data. Selected protein biomarkers based on previous gene expression microarray profiling studies were selected, and immunohistochemistry staining was performed. Staining patterns were correlated with clinical outcomes, and a multivariate analysis was undertaken to identify potential biomarkers of prognosis.
RESULTS: Median overall survival was 45 months, with a 5-year overall survival rate of 44%. Median disease-free survival was 58 months, with a 5-year disease-free survival rate of 44%. The proliferation marker Ki-67 and DNA topoisomerase TOP2A were associated with significantly poorer overall and disease-free survival. The results also showed strong correlation between the transcriptional repressor EZH2 and TOP2A expression, suggesting a novel role for EZH2 as an additional marker of prognosis. In contrast, increased expression of the BARD1 protein, with its ubiquitin ligase function, was associated with significantly improved overall and disease-free survival, which has yet to be documented for ACC.
CONCLUSION: We present novel biomarkers that assist in determining prognosis for patients with ACC. Ki-67, TOP2A, and EZH2 were all significantly associated with poorer outcomes, whereas BARD1 was associated with improved overall survival. It is hoped that these biomarkers may help tailor additional therapy and be potential targets for directed therapy.

Loke J, Pearlman A, Upadhyay K, et al.
Functional variant analyses (FVAs) predict pathogenicity in the BRCA1 DNA double-strand break repair pathway.
Hum Mol Genet. 2015; 24(11):3030-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Heritable mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 and other genes in the DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway disrupt binding of the encoded proteins, transport into the nucleus and initiation of homologous recombination, thereby increasing cancer risk [Scully, R., Chen, J., Plug, A., Xiao, Y., Weaver, D., Feunteun, J., Ashley, T. and Livingston, D.M. (1997) Association of BRCA1 with Rad51 in mitotic and meiotic cells. Cell, 88, 265-275, Chen, J., Silver, D.P., Walpita, D., Cantor, S.B., Gazdar, A.F., Tomlinson, G., Couch, F.J., Weber, B.L., Ashley, T., Livingston, D.M. et al. (1998) Stable interaction between the products of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes in mitotic and meiotic cells. Mol. Cell, 2, 317-328]. To meet the challenge of correct classification, flow cytometry-based functional variant analyses (FVAs) were developed to determine whether variants in DSB repair genes disrupted the binding of BRCA1 to BARD1, PALB2, BRCA2 and FANCD2, phosphorylation of p53 or BRCA1 nuclear localization in response to DNA damage caused by diepoxybutane, mitomycin C and bleomycin. Lymphoblastoid cells from individuals with BRCA1 pathogenic mutations, benign variants, and variants of uncertain significance or with known BRCA2, FANCC or NBN mutations were tested. Mutations in BRCA1 decreased nuclear localization of BRCA1 in response to individual or combination drug treatment. Mutations in BRCA1 reduced binding to co-factors, PALB2 and FANCD2 and decreased phosphorylation of p53. Mutations in BRCA2, FANCC and NBN decreased nuclear localization of BRCA1 in response to drug treatment, cofactors binding and p53 phosphorylation. Unsupervised cluster analysis of all and as few as two assays demonstrated two apparent clusters, high-risk BRCA1 mutations and phenocopies and low-risk, fully sequenced controls and variants of uncertain significance (VUS). Thus, two FVA assays distinguish BRCA1 mutations and phenocopies from benign variants and categorize most VUS as benign. Mutations in other DSB repair pathway genes produce molecular phenocopies. FVA assays may represent an adjunct to sequencing for categorizing VUS or may represent a stand-alone measure for assessing breast cancer risk.

Sokolenko AP, Preobrazhenskaya EV, Aleksakhina SN, et al.
Candidate gene analysis of BRCA1/2 mutation-negative high-risk Russian breast cancer patients.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 359(2):259-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Twenty one DNA repair genes were analyzed in a group of 95 BC patients, who displayed clinical features of hereditary disease predisposition but turned out to be negative for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 entire coding region as well as for founder disease-predisposing alleles in CHEK2, NBN/NBS1 and ATM genes. Full-length sequencing of CHEK2 and NBN/NBS1 failed to identify non-founder mutations. The analysis of TP53 revealed a woman carrying the R282W allele; further testing of additional 108 BC patients characterized by a very young age at onset (35 years or earlier) detected one more carrier of the TP53 germ-line defect. In addition, this study confirmed non-random occurrence of PALB2 truncating mutations in Russian hereditary BC patients. None of the studied cases carried germ-line defects in recently discovered hereditary BC genes, BRIP1, FANCC, MRE11A and RAD51C. The analysis of genes with yet unproven BC-predisposing significance (BARD1, BRD7, CHEK1, DDB2, ERCC1, EXO1, FANCG, PARP1, PARP2, RAD51, RNF8, WRN) identified single women carrying a protein-truncating allele, WRN R1406X. DNA sequencing of another set of 95 hereditary BC cases failed to reveal additional WRN heterozygous genotypes. Since WRN is functionally similar to the known BC-predisposing gene, BLM, it deserves to be analyzed in future hereditary BC studies. Furthermore, this investigation revealed a number of rare missense germ-line variants, which are classified as probably protein-damaging by online in silico tools and therefore may require further consideration.

Couch FJ, Hart SN, Sharma P, et al.
Inherited mutations in 17 breast cancer susceptibility genes among a large triple-negative breast cancer cohort unselected for family history of breast cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(4):304-11 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Recent advances in DNA sequencing have led to the development of breast cancer susceptibility gene panels for germline genetic testing of patients. We assessed the frequency of mutations in 17 predisposition genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, in a large cohort of patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) unselected for family history of breast or ovarian cancer to determine the utility of germline genetic testing for those with TNBC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with TNBC (N = 1,824) unselected for family history of breast or ovarian cancer were recruited through 12 studies, and germline DNA was sequenced to identify mutations.
RESULTS: Deleterious mutations were identified in 14.6% of all patients. Of these, 11.2% had mutations in the BRCA1 (8.5%) and BRCA2 (2.7%) genes. Deleterious mutations in 15 other predisposition genes were detected in 3.7% of patients, with the majority observed in genes involved in homologous recombination, including PALB2 (1.2%) and BARD1, RAD51D, RAD51C, and BRIP1 (0.3% to 0.5%). Patients with TNBC with mutations were diagnosed at an earlier age (P < .001) and had higher-grade tumors (P = .01) than those without mutations.
CONCLUSION: Deleterious mutations in predisposition genes are present at high frequency in patients with TNBC unselected for family history of cancer. Mutation prevalence estimates suggest that patients with TNBC, regardless of age at diagnosis or family history of cancer, should be considered for germline genetic testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2. Although mutations in other predisposition genes are observed among patients with TNBC, better cancer risk estimates are needed before these mutations are used for clinical risk assessment in relatives.

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