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Int J Cancer. 2004 Jul 10;110(5):677-82.

BRCA1 mutations in South African breast and/or ovarian cancer families: evidence of a novel founder mutation in Afrikaner families.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.


Germ-line mutations within BRCA1 are responsible for different proportions of inherited susceptibility to breast/ovarian cancer, and the spectrum of mutations within this gene is often unique to certain populations. At this time, there have been no reports regarding the role of BRCA1 in South African breast and/or ovarian cancer families. We therefore screened 90 South African breast/ovarian cancer families for BRCA1 mutations by means of PCR-based mutation detection assays. Eighteen families (20%) were identified with BRCA1 disease-causing mutations. Four Ashkenazi Jewish families were identified with the 185delAG mutation, whereas 2 Afrikaner and 1 Ashkenazi Jewish family were found to harbor the 5382insC mutation. Five of the families (5.56%), all of whom are Afrikaners, were found to carry the novel E881X mutation. Genotype analyses show that these patients share a common ancestor. Genealogic studies have identified 3 possible founding couples for this mutation, all of whom arrived in the Cape from France in the late 1600s. Of the remaining mutations detected, 3 have not been reported previously and include the S451X, 1493delC (detected twice) and 4957insC mutations.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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