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J Med Genet. 2009 Jan;46(1):32-9. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2007.057174. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Functional polymorphisms in the BRCA1 promoter influence transcription and are associated with decreased risk for breast cancer in Chinese women.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The BRCA1 gene is an important breast-cancer susceptibility gene. Promoter polymorphisms can alter the binding affinity of transcription factors, changing transcriptional activity and may affect susceptibility to disease.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Using direct sequencing of the BRCA1 promoter region, we identified four polymorphisms c.-2804T-->C (rs799908:T-->C), c.-2265C-->T (rs11655505:C-->T), c.-2004A-->G (rs799906:A-->G) and c.-1896(ACA)(1)-->(ACA)(2) (rs8176071:(ACA)(1)-->(ACA)(2)) present in Hong Kong Chinese. Each polymorphism was studied independently and in combination by functional assays. Although all four variants significantly altered promoter activity, the c.-2265T allele had stronger binding than the C allele, and the most common mutant haplotype, which contains the c.-2265T allele, increased promoter activity by 70%. Risk association first tested in Hong Kong Chinese women with breast cancer and age-matched controls and replicated in a large population-based study of Shanghai Chinese, together totalling >3000 participants, showed that carriers of the c.-2265T allele had a reduced risk for breast cancer (combined odd ratio (OR) = 0.80, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.93; p = 0.003) which was more evident among women aged >or=45 years at first diagnosis of breast cancer and without a family history of breast cancer (combined OR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.91; p = 0.004). The most common haplotype containing the c.-2265T allele also showed significant risk association for women aged >or=45 years without a family history of breast cancer (OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.89; p = 0.008).

CONCLUSION:

This comprehensive study of BRCA1 promoter polymorphisms found four variants that altered promoter activity and with the most significant contribution from c.-2265C-->T, which could affect susceptibility to breast cancer in the Chinese population. Its significance in other populations remains to be investigated.

PMID:
18782836
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2782922
Free PMC Article

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