TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
CD9 is the best-studied member of the tetraspanin family of transmembrane proteins. It is involved in various fundamental cellular processes and its altered expression is a characteristic of malignant cells of different origins. Despite numerous investigations confirming its fundamental role, the heterogeneity of CD9 or other tetraspanin proteins was considered only to be caused by posttranslational modification, rather than alternative splicing. Here we describe the first identification of CD9 transcript variants expressed by cell lines derived from fetal rat brain cells. Variant mRNA-B lacks a potential translation initiation codon in the alternative exon 1 and seems to be characteristic of the tumorigenic BT cell lines. In contrast, variant mRNA-C can be translated from a functional initiation codon located in its extended exon 2, and substantial amounts of this form detected in various tissues suggest a contribution to CD9 functions. From the alternative sequence of variant C, a different membrane topology (5 transmembrane domains) and a deviating spectrum of functions can be expected.
CD9; tetraspanin; transcript; splice variant; membrane topology
Proliferation and migration of retinal endothelial cells (REC) are associated with the development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. REC proliferation is stimulated by isoforms of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (i.e., VEGF121 and VEGF165), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) of which VEGF165 also enhances migration of REC. Effects induced by VEGF-A can be blocked with ranibizumab, a VEGF-binding Fab fragment used in therapy of diabetic macular edema. In this study, we investigated potential angiogenic effects of placental growth factors (PlGF-1, PlGF-2) as other members of the VEGF family and whether the primary action of VEGF165 is modulated in the presence of bFGF, IGF-1 and PlGF-1/-2. We also studied how effects of growth factor combinations can be attenuated with ranibizumab.
Effects of single growth factors or their combinations on proliferation and migration of immortalized bovine retinal endothelial cells (iBREC) were studied with or without ranibizumab or the inhibitor of VEGF receptors KRN951.
Proliferation of iBREC was significantly stimulated by 1–100 ng/ml PlGF-1 or PlGF-2, but additive effects were not observed with various combinations of the tested growth factors. Ranibizumab neutralized VEGF’s effect on proliferation but was not effective when the other growth factors were used in combination with VEGF. bFGF and IGF-1 but not PlGF-1 or PlGF-2 stimulated iBREC migration as single agents, and they further enhanced VEGF-induced migration. The effects of such growth factor combinations including VEGF on migration were efficiently blocked by targeting only VEGF with ranibizumab. Migration induced by VEGF plus bFGF and IGF-1 was also almost completely inhibited by KRN951 interfering with VEGF receptor signalling.
Migration but not proliferation of iBREC induced by combinations of bFGF, IGF-1, PlGF-1 or PlGF-2 together with VEGF is efficiently suppressed by ranibizumab. VEGF-mediated signalling through VEGFR2 seems to control REC migration dominantly in the presence of other growth factors.
Retinal endothelial cells; Growth factors; Ranibizumab; Migration; Proliferation; Proliferative diabetic retinopathy
BRCA1-associated breast and ovarian cancer risks can be modified by common genetic variants. To identify further cancer risk-modifying loci, we performed a multi-stage GWAS of 11,705 BRCA1 carriers (of whom 5,920 were diagnosed with breast and 1,839 were diagnosed with ovarian cancer), with a further replication in an additional sample of 2,646 BRCA1 carriers. We identified a novel breast cancer risk modifier locus at 1q32 for BRCA1 carriers (rs2290854, P = 2.7×10−8, HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.09–1.20). In addition, we identified two novel ovarian cancer risk modifier loci: 17q21.31 (rs17631303, P = 1.4×10−8, HR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.17–1.38) and 4q32.3 (rs4691139, P = 3.4×10−8, HR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.17–1.38). The 4q32.3 locus was not associated with ovarian cancer risk in the general population or BRCA2 carriers, suggesting a BRCA1-specific association. The 17q21.31 locus was also associated with ovarian cancer risk in 8,211 BRCA2 carriers (P = 2×10−4). These loci may lead to an improved understanding of the etiology of breast and ovarian tumors in BRCA1 carriers. Based on the joint distribution of the known BRCA1 breast cancer risk-modifying loci, we estimated that the breast cancer lifetime risks for the 5% of BRCA1 carriers at lowest risk are 28%–50% compared to 81%–100% for the 5% at highest risk. Similarly, based on the known ovarian cancer risk-modifying loci, the 5% of BRCA1 carriers at lowest risk have an estimated lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer of 28% or lower, whereas the 5% at highest risk will have a risk of 63% or higher. Such differences in risk may have important implications for risk prediction and clinical management for BRCA1 carriers.
BRCA1 mutation carriers have increased and variable risks of breast and ovarian cancer. To identify modifiers of breast and ovarian cancer risk in this population, a multi-stage GWAS of 14,351 BRCA1 mutation carriers was performed. Loci 1q32 and TCF7L2 at 10q25.3 were associated with breast cancer risk, and two loci at 4q32.2 and 17q21.31 were associated with ovarian cancer risk. The 4q32.3 ovarian cancer locus was not associated with ovarian cancer risk in the general population or in BRCA2 carriers and is the first indication of a BRCA1-specific risk locus for either breast or ovarian cancer. Furthermore, modeling the influence of these modifiers on cumulative risk of breast and ovarian cancer in BRCA1 mutation carriers for the first time showed that a wide range of individual absolute risks of each cancer can be estimated. These differences suggest that genetic risk modifiers may be incorporated into the clinical management of BRCA1 mutation carriers.
We previously reported significant associations between genetic variants in insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and breast cancer risk in women carrying BRCA1 mutations. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether the IRS1 variants modified ovarian cancer risk and were associated with breast cancer risk in a larger cohort of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
IRS1 rs1801123, rs1330645, and rs1801278 were genotyped in samples from 36 centers in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA). Data were analyzed by a retrospective cohort approach modeling the associations with breast and ovarian cancer risks simultaneously. Analyses were stratified by BRCA1 and BRCA2 status and mutation class in BRCA1 carriers.
Rs1801278 (Gly972Arg) was associated with ovarian cancer risk for both BRCA1 [Hazard ratio (HR) = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.06–1.92; p = 0.019] and BRCA2 mutation carriers (HR=2.21; 95% CI: 1.39–3.52, p=0.0008). For BRCA1 mutation carriers, the breast cancer risk was higher in carriers with class 2 mutations than class 1 (mutations (class 2 HR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.28–2.70; class 1 HR=0.86, 95%CI:0.69–1.09; p-for difference=0.0006). Rs13306465 was associated with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 class 2 mutation carriers (HR = 2.42; p = 0.03).
The IRS1 Gly972Arg SNP, which affects insulin-like growth factor and insulin signaling, modifies ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and breast cancer risk in BRCA1 class 2 mutation carriers.
These findings may prove useful for risk prediction for breast and ovarian cancers in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Breast cancer; Ovarian cancer; BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers; insulin receptor substrate 1; Insulin-like growth factor /insulin (IGF/INS) signaling
Abstract Three founder mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 contribute to the risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jews (AJ). They are observed at increased frequency in the AJ compared to other BRCA mutations in Caucasian non-Jews (CNJ). Several authors have proposed that elevated allele frequencies in the surrounding genomic regions reflect adaptive or balancing selection. Such proposals predict long-range linkage dis-equilibrium (LD) resulting from a selective sweep, although genetic drift in a founder population may also act to create long-distance LD. To date, few studies have used the tools of statistical genomics to examine the likelihood of long-range LD at a deleterious locus in a population that faced a genetic bottleneck. We studied the genotypes of hundreds of women from a large international consortium of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and found that AJ women exhibited long-range haplotypes compared to CNJ women. More than 50% of the AJ chromosomes with the BRCA1 185delAG mutation share an identical 2.1 Mb haplotype and nearly 16% of AJ chromosomes carrying the BRCA2 6174delT mutation share a 1.4 Mb haplotype. Simulations based on the best inference of Ashkenazi population demography indicate that long-range haplotypes are expected in the context of a genome-wide survey. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a local bottleneck effect from population size constriction events could by chance have resulted in the large haplotype blocks observed at high frequency in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 regions of Ashkenazi Jews.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified variants at 19p13.1 and ZNF365 (10q21.2) as risk factors for breast cancer among BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, respectively. We explored associations with ovarian cancer and with breast cancer by tumor histopathology for these variants in mutation carriers from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIMBA).
Genotyping data for 12,599 BRCA1 and 7,132 BRCA2 mutation carriers from 40 studies were combined.
We confirmed associations between rs8170 at 19p13.1 and breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers (hazard ratio (HR)=1.17; 95%CI 1.07–1.27; p=7.42×10−4) and between rs16917302 at ZNF365 (HR=0.84; 95%CI 0.73–0.97; p=0.017) but not rs311499 at 20q13.3 (HR=1.11; 95%CI 0.94–1.31; p=0.22) and breast cancer risk for BRCA2 mutation carriers. Analyses based on tumor histopathology showed that 19p13 variants were predominantly associated with estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, whereas rs16917302 at ZNF365 was mainly associated with ER-positive breast cancer for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. We also found for the first time that rs67397200 at 19p13.1 was associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer for BRCA1 (HR=1.16; 95%CI 1.05–1.29; p=3.8×10−4) and BRCA2 mutation carriers (HR=1.30; 95%CI 1.10–1.52; p=1.8×10−3).
19p13.1 and ZNF365 are susceptibility loci for ovarian cancer and ER subtypes of breast cancer among BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
These findings can lead to an improved understanding of tumor development and may prove useful for breast and ovarian cancer risk prediction for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
BRCA1; BRCA2; breast cancer risk; ovarian cancer risk; 19p13.1; ZNF365
Germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancer. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified six alleles associated with risk of ovarian cancer for women in the general population. We evaluated four of these loci as potential modifiers of ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs10088218 (at 8q24), rs2665390 (at 3q25), rs717852 (at 2q31), and rs9303542 (at 17q21), were genotyped in 12,599 BRCA1 and 7,132 BRCA2 carriers, including 2,678 ovarian cancer cases. Associations were evaluated within a retrospective cohort approach. All four loci were associated with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA2 carriers; rs10088218 per-allele hazard ratio (HR) = 0.81 (95% CI: 0.67–0.98) P-trend = 0.033, rs2665390 HR = 1.48 (95% CI: 1.21–1.83) P-trend = 1.8 × 10−4, rs717852 HR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.10–1.42) P-trend = 6.6 × 10−4, rs9303542 HR = 1.16 (95% CI: 1.02–1.33) P-trend = 0.026. Two loci were associated with ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 carriers; rs10088218 per-allele HR = 0.89 (95% CI: 0.81–0.99) P-trend = 0.029, rs2665390 HR = 1.25 (95% CI: 1.10–1.42) P-trend = 6.1 × 10−4. The HR estimates for the remaining loci were consistent with odds ratio estimates for the general population. The identification of multiple loci modifying ovarian cancer risk may be useful for counseling women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations regarding their risk of ovarian cancer.
ovarian cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; association; SNP
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 6q25.1, near the ESR1 gene, have been implicated in the susceptibility to breast cancer for Asian (rs2046210) and European women (rs9397435). A genome-wide association study in Europeans identified two further breast cancer susceptibility variants: rs11249433 at 1p11.2 and rs999737 in RAD51L1 at 14q24.1. Although previously identified breast cancer susceptibility variants have been shown to be associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, the involvement of these SNPs to breast cancer susceptibility in mutation carriers is currently unknown. To address this, we genotyped these SNPs in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers from 42 studies from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2. In the analysis of 14 123 BRCA1 and 8053 BRCA2 mutation carriers of European ancestry, the 6q25.1 SNPs (r2 = 0.14) were independently associated with the risk of breast cancer for BRCA1 mutation carriers [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11–1.23, P-trend = 4.5 × 10−9 for rs2046210; HR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.18–1.40, P-trend = 1.3 × 10−8 for rs9397435], but only rs9397435 was associated with the risk for BRCA2 carriers (HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01–1.28, P-trend = 0.031). SNP rs11249433 (1p11.2) was associated with the risk of breast cancer for BRCA2 mutation carriers (HR = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.02–1.17, P-trend = 0.015), but was not associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers (HR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.92–1.02, P-trend = 0.20). SNP rs999737 (RAD51L1) was not associated with breast cancer risk for either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers (P-trend = 0.27 and 0.30, respectively). The identification of SNPs at 6q25.1 associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers will lead to a better understanding of the biology of tumour development in these women.
Previous small studies found that BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast tumors differ in their pathology. Analysis of larger datasets of mutation carriers should allow further tumor characterization.
We used data from 4,325 BRCA1 and 2,568 BRCA2 mutation carriers to analyze the pathology of invasive breast, ovarian and contralateral breast cancers.
There was strong evidence that the proportion of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast tumors decreased with age at diagnosis among BRCA1 (p-trend=1.2×10−5) but increased with age at diagnosis among BRCA2 carriers (p-trend=6.8×10−6). The proportion of triple negative tumors decreased with age at diagnosis in BRCA1 carriers but increased with age at diagnosis of BRCA2 carriers. In both BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers, ER-negative tumors were of higher histological grade than ER-positive tumors (Grade 3 vs. Grade 1, p=1.2×10−13 for BRCA1 and p=0.001 for BRCA2). ER and progesterone receptor (PR) expression were independently associated with mutation carrier status (ER-positive odds ratio (OR) for BRCA2=9.4, 95%CI:7.0-12.6 and PR-positive OR=1.7, 95%CI:1.3-2.3, under joint analysis). Lobular tumors were more likely to be BRCA2-related (OR for BRCA2=3.3, 95%CI:2.4-4.4, p=4.4×10−14), and medullary tumors BRCA1-related (OR for BRCA2=0.25, 95%CI:0.18-0.35, p=2.3×10−15). ER-status of the first breast cancer was predictive of ER-status of asynchronous contralateral breast cancer (p=0.0004 for BRCA1; p=0.002 for BRCA2). There were no significant differences in ovarian cancer morphology between BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers (serous:67%; mucinous:1%; endometriod:12%; clear-cell:2%).
Pathology characteristics of BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumors may be useful for improving risk prediction algorithms and informing clinical strategies for screening and prophylaxis.
pathology; breast; BRCA1; BRCA2; contralateral
Retinal endothelial cells are crucially involved in the genesis of diabetic retinopathy which is treated with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors. Of these, ranibizumab can completely restore VEGF-induced effects on immortalised bovine retinal endothelial cells (iBREC). In most experiments supporting diabetic retinopathy therapy with bevacizumab, only non-retinal EC or retinal pigment epithelial cells have been used. Also, bevacizumab but not ranibizumab can accumulate in retinal pigment epithelial cells.
To investigate the effects of bevacizumab on VEGF-induced changes of iBREC properties and potential uptake and accumulation of both inhibitors.
Uptake of VEGF inhibitors by iBREC with or without pretreatment with VEGF165 was visualised by immunofluorescence staining and western blot analyses. Measured transendothelial resistance (TER) of iBREC (±VEGF165) showed effects on permeability, indicated also by the western blot-determined tight junction protein claudin-1. The influence of bevacizumab on proliferation and migration of iBREC was studied in the presence and absence of VEGF165.
Bevacizumab strongly inhibited VEGF-stimulated and basal migration, but was less efficient than ranibizumab in inhibiting VEGF-induced proliferation or restoring the VEGF-induced decrease of TER and claudin-1. This ability was completely lost after storage of bevacizumab for 4 weeks at 4°C. Ranibizumab and bevacizumab were detectable in whole cell extracts after treatment for at least 1 h; bevacizumab accumulated during prolonged treatment. Ranibizumab was found in the membrane/organelle fraction, whereas bevacizumab was associated with the cytoskeleton.
Both inhibitors had similar effects on retinal endothelial cells; however, some differences were recognised. Although barrier properties were not affected by internalised bevacizumab in vitro, potential adverse effects due to accumulation after repetitive intravitreal injections remain to be investigated.
Retinal endothelial cells; VEGF inhibition; diabetic macular oedema; diabetic retinopathy; biochemistry; diagnostic tests/investigation; macula; neovascularisation; retina
Several common alleles have been shown to be associated with breast and/or ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Recent genome-wide association studies of breast cancer have identified eight additional breast cancer susceptibility loci: rs1011970 (9p21, CDKN2A/B), rs10995190 (ZNF365), rs704010 (ZMIZ1), rs2380205 (10p15), rs614367 (11q13), rs1292011 (12q24), rs10771399 (12p11 near PTHLH) and rs865686 (9q31.2).
To evaluate whether these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers, we genotyped these SNPs in 12,599 BRCA1 and 7,132 BRCA2 mutation carriers and analysed the associations with breast cancer risk within a retrospective likelihood framework.
Only SNP rs10771399 near PTHLH was associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers (per-allele hazard ratio (HR) = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.81 to 0.94, P-trend = 3 × 10-4). The association was restricted to mutations proven or predicted to lead to absence of protein expression (HR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.90, P-trend = 3.1 × 10-5, P-difference = 0.03). Four SNPs were associated with the risk of breast cancer for BRCA2 mutation carriers: rs10995190, P-trend = 0.015; rs1011970, P-trend = 0.048; rs865686, 2df-P = 0.007; rs1292011 2df-P = 0.03. rs10771399 (PTHLH) was predominantly associated with estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer for BRCA1 mutation carriers (HR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.90, P-trend = 4 × 10-5) and there was marginal evidence of association with ER-negative breast cancer for BRCA2 mutation carriers (HR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.62 to 1.00, P-trend = 0.049).
The present findings, in combination with previously identified modifiers of risk, will ultimately lead to more accurate risk prediction and an improved understanding of the disease etiology in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Germline mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancers. Although several common variants have been associated with breast cancer susceptibility in mutation carriers, none have been associated with ovarian cancer susceptibility. A genome-wide association study recently identified an association between the rare allele of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3814113 (ie, the C allele) at 9p22.2 and decreased risk of ovarian cancer for women in the general population. We evaluated the association of this SNP with ovarian cancer risk among BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers by use of data from the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2.
We genotyped rs3814113 in 10 029 BRCA1 mutation carriers and 5837 BRCA2 mutation carriers. Associations with ovarian and breast cancer were assessed with a retrospective likelihood approach. All statistical tests were two-sided.
The minor allele of rs3814113 was associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer among BRCA1 mutation carriers (per-allele hazard ratio of ovarian cancer = 0.78, 95% confidence interval = 0.72 to 0.85; P = 4.8 × 10-9) and BRCA2 mutation carriers (hazard ratio of ovarian cancer = 0.78, 95% confidence interval = 0.67 to 0.90; P = 5.5 × 10-4). This SNP was not associated with breast cancer risk among either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. BRCA1 mutation carriers with the TT genotype at SNP rs3814113 were predicted to have an ovarian cancer risk to age 80 years of 48%, and those with the CC genotype were predicted to have a risk of 33%.
Common genetic variation at the 9p22.2 locus was associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer for carriers of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.
We describe a family with a history of breast and ovarian cancer in which MLPA analysis of the BRCA1 gene pointed to a deletion including a part of exon 11. Further characterization confirmed a loss of 374 bp in a region completely covered by conventional sequencing which had not revealed the deletion. Because this alteration was only detected serendipitously with an MLPA probe, we calculated the probabilities of detecting medium-sized deletions in large exons by methods including initial PCR amplification. This showed that a considerable fraction of medium-sized deletions are undetectable by currently used standard methods of mutation analyses. We conclude that long, widely overlapping amplicons should be used to minimize the risk of missing medium-sized deletions. Alternatively, large exons could be completely covered by narrow-spaced MLPA probes.
mutation analysis; DNA sequencing; PCR; hereditary breast cancer; model calculations
Genetic analysis identifies the HMMR gene as a modifier of the breast cancer risk associated with BRCA1 gene mutation, while cell biological analysis of the protein product suggests a function in regulating development of the mammary gland.
Differentiated mammary epithelium shows apicobasal polarity, and loss of tissue organization is an early hallmark of breast carcinogenesis. In BRCA1 mutation carriers, accumulation of stem and progenitor cells in normal breast tissue and increased risk of developing tumors of basal-like type suggest that BRCA1 regulates stem/progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation. However, the function of BRCA1 in this process and its link to carcinogenesis remain unknown. Here we depict a molecular mechanism involving BRCA1 and RHAMM that regulates apicobasal polarity and, when perturbed, may increase risk of breast cancer. Starting from complementary genetic analyses across families and populations, we identified common genetic variation at the low-penetrance susceptibility HMMR locus (encoding for RHAMM) that modifies breast cancer risk among BRCA1, but probably not BRCA2, mutation carriers: n = 7,584, weighted hazard ratio (wHR) = 1.09 (95% CI 1.02–1.16), ptrend = 0.017; and n = 3,965, wHR = 1.04 (95% CI 0.94–1.16), ptrend = 0.43; respectively. Subsequently, studies of MCF10A apicobasal polarization revealed a central role for BRCA1 and RHAMM, together with AURKA and TPX2, in essential reorganization of microtubules. Mechanistically, reorganization is facilitated by BRCA1 and impaired by AURKA, which is regulated by negative feedback involving RHAMM and TPX2. Taken together, our data provide fundamental insight into apicobasal polarization through BRCA1 function, which may explain the expanded cell subsets and characteristic tumor type accompanying BRCA1 mutation, while also linking this process to sporadic breast cancer through perturbation of HMMR/RHAMM.
Mutations in two genes that were initially identified as predisposing carriers to early-onset breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, cause similar perturbations in cellular responses to DNA damage but predispose carriers to distinct tumor types. Thus, the two genes may trigger different carcinogenic processes. We have used genetic analyses of affected families to uncover additional genetic variation that is linked to the risk of developing cancer for carriers of BRCA1 mutations. This variation falls within a centrosomal gene, named HMMR. The protein product of HMMR, which is called RHAMM, works in concert with BRCA1 to regulate the structure of normal breast cells as they grow and become polarized. This polarization process depends upon a balance between the activities of BRCA1 and the Aurora kinase A, with the kinase opposing BRCA1 function and promoting growth. Our findings provide new insights into the mechanism through which BRCA1 may promote commitment of initially bipotent mammary cells towards the luminal lineage, and how loss of this function may predispose cells to become breast tumors of a basal-like type.
Previous studies have demonstrated that common breast cancer susceptibility alleles are differentially associated with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation carriers. It is currently unknown how these alleles are associated with different breast cancer subtypes in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers defined by estrogen (ER) or progesterone receptor (PR) status of the tumour.
We used genotype data on up to 11,421 BRCA1 and 7,080 BRCA2 carriers, of whom 4,310 had been affected with breast cancer and had information on either ER or PR status of the tumour, to assess the associations of 12 loci with breast cancer tumour characteristics. Associations were evaluated using a retrospective cohort approach.
The results suggested stronger associations with ER-positive breast cancer than ER-negative for 11 loci in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. Among BRCA1 carriers, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2981582 (FGFR2) exhibited the biggest difference based on ER status (per-allele hazard ratio (HR) for ER-positive = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.17 to 1.56 vs HR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.98 for ER-negative, P-heterogeneity = 6.5 × 10-6). In contrast, SNP rs2046210 at 6q25.1 near ESR1 was primarily associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk for both BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. In BRCA2 carriers, SNPs in FGFR2, TOX3, LSP1, SLC4A7/NEK10, 5p12, 2q35, and 1p11.2 were significantly associated with ER-positive but not ER-negative disease. Similar results were observed when differentiating breast cancer cases by PR status.
The associations of the 12 SNPs with risk for BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers differ by ER-positive or ER-negative breast cancer status. The apparent differences in SNP associations between BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers, and non-carriers, may be explicable by differences in the prevalence of tumour subtypes. As more risk modifying variants are identified, incorporating these associations into breast cancer subtype-specific risk models may improve clinical management for mutation carriers.
The genes caspase-8 (CASP8) and caspase-10 (CASP10) functionally cooperate and play a key role in the initiation of apoptosis. Suppression of apoptosis is one of the major mechanisms underlying the origin and progression of cancer. Previous case-control studies have indicated that the polymorphisms CASP8 D302H and CASP10 V410I are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in the general population.
To evaluate whether the CASP8 D302H (CASP10 V410I) polymorphisms modify breast or ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, we analyzed 7,353 (7,227) subjects of white European origin provided by 19 (18) study groups that participate in the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 (CIM-BA). A weighted cohort approach was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
The minor allele of CASP8 D302H was significantly associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer (per-allele HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76–0.97; Ptrend = 0.011) and ovarian cancer (per-allele HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.53–0.89; Ptrend = 0.004) for BRCA1 but not for BRCA2 mutation carriers. The CASP10 V410I polymorphism was not associated with breast or ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers.
CASP8 D302H decreases breast and ovarian cancer risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers but not for BRCA2 mutation carriers.
The combined application of these and other recently identified genetic risk modifiers could in the future allow better individual risk calculation and could aid in the individualized counseling and decision making with respect to preventive options in BRCA1 mutation carriers.
The known breast cancer (BC) susceptibility polymorphisms in FGFR2, TNRC9/TOX3, MAP3K1,LSP1 and 2q35 confer increased risks of BC for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. We evaluated the associations of three additional SNPs, rs4973768 in SLC4A7/NEK10, rs6504950 in STXBP4/COX11 and rs10941679 at 5p12 and reanalyzed the previous associations using additional carriers in a sample of 12,525 BRCA1 and 7,409 BRCA2 carriers. Additionally, we investigated potential interactions between SNPs and assessed the implications for risk prediction. The minor alleles of rs4973768 and rs10941679 were associated with increased BC risk for BRCA2 carriers (per-allele Hazard Ratio (HR)=1.10, 95%CI:1.03-1.18, p=0.006 and HR=1.09, 95%CI:1.01-1.19, p=0.03, respectively). Neither SNP was associated with BC risk for BRCA1 carriers and rs6504950 was not associated with BC for either BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers. Of the nine polymorphisms investigated, seven were associated with BC for BRCA2 carriers (FGFR2, TOX3, MAP3K1, LSP1, 2q35, SLC4A7, 5p12, p-values:7×10−11-0.03), but only TOX3 and 2q35 were associated with the risk for BRCA1 carriers (p=0.0049, 0.03 respectively). All risk associated polymorphisms appear to interact multiplicatively on BC risk for mutation carriers. Based on the joint genotype distribution of the seven risk associated SNPs in BRCA2 mutation carriers, the 5% of BRCA2 carriers at highest risk (i.e. between 95th and 100th percentiles) were predicted to have a probability between 80% and 96% of developing BC by age 80, compared with 42-50% for the 5% of carriers at lowest risk. Our findings indicated that these risk differences may be sufficient to influence the clinical management of mutation carriers.
BRCA1; BRCA2; genetic modifier; common variant; genome-wide association study; penetrance; genetic counseling
Current attempts to identify genetic modifiers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 associated risk have focused on a candidate gene approach, based on knowledge of gene functions, or the development of large genome-wide association studies. In this study, we evaluated 24 SNPs tagged to 14 candidate genes derived through a novel approach that analysed gene expression differences to prioritise candidate modifier genes for association studies.
We successfully genotyped 24 SNPs in a cohort of up to 4,724 BRCA1 and 2,693 BRCA2 female mutation carriers from 15 study groups and assessed whether these variants were associated with risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
SNPs in five of the 14 candidate genes showed evidence of association with breast cancer risk for BRCA1 or BRCA2 carriers (P < 0.05). Notably, the minor alleles of two SNPs (rs7166081 and rs3825977) in high linkage disequilibrium (r2 = 0.77), located at the SMAD3 locus (15q22), were each associated with increased breast cancer risk for BRCA2 mutation carriers (relative risk = 1.25, 95% confidence interval = 1.07 to 1.45, Ptrend = 0.004; and relative risk = 1.20, 95% confidence interval = 1.03 to 1.40, Ptrend = 0.018).
This study provides evidence that the SMAD3 gene, which encodes a key regulatory protein in the transforming growth factor beta signalling pathway and is known to interact directly with BRCA2, may contribute to increased risk of breast cancer in BRCA2 mutation carriers. This finding suggests that genes with expression associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status are enriched for the presence of common genetic modifiers of breast cancer risk in these populations.
Tetraspanins are potentially useful molecular markers that differentiate between tumour classes and subtypes, since members of this protein family were often found to be altered during malignant conversion and tumour progression. In this study, we analysed expression of the tetraspanin CD9 in the frequent cutaneous neoplasms basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and actinic keratosis (AK), which is considered a precursor lesion (carcinoma in situ) from which an invasive SCC can develop. A moderate to strong CD9-specific staining of the tumour cells’ plasma membranes was uniquely observed in all BCCs, SCCs and AKs. All SCCs showed additional intracellular CD9 which was rarely (20%) seen in AKs. Semi-quantitative assessment of CD9 present in the plasma membranes of tumour cells of BCCs (mean staining intensity 1.91) and SCCs (3.64) reflected the different CD9 expression of normal precursor cells from which these tumours most likely originate. Although considered an intermediate stage in the development of SCCs, AKs did not show intense staining of the plasma membranes typical of normal keratinocytes or invasive SCCs (p=0.011) but only moderate intensity (mean 1.63). In BCCs, significantly (p=0.0005, n=56) stronger CD9-specific immunoreactivity was seen in the inner regions of the tumours than at their sites of expansion. In summary, our results point to an important role of CD9 at the front of tumour expansion in BCCs and SCCs, and in the pathogenesis of invasive SCCs.
tetraspanin; cutanous neoplasm; solar keratosis; immunohistochemistry