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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51719. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051719. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Micro-scale genomic DNA copy number aberrations as another means of mutagenesis in breast cancer.

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  • 1Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

In breast cancer, the basal-like subtype has high levels of genomic instability relative to other breast cancer subtypes with many basal-like-specific regions of aberration. There is evidence that this genomic instability extends to smaller scale genomic aberrations, as shown by a previously described micro-deletion event in the PTEN gene in the Basal-like SUM149 breast cancer cell line.

METHODS:

We sought to identify if small regions of genomic DNA copy number changes exist by using a high density, gene-centric Comparative Genomic Hybridizations (CGH) array on cell lines and primary tumors. A custom tiling array for CGH (244,000 probes, 200 bp tiling resolution) was created to identify small regions of genomic change, which was focused on previously identified basal-like-specific, and general cancer genes. Tumor genomic DNA from 94 patients and 2 breast cancer cell lines was labeled and hybridized to these arrays. Aberrations were called using SWITCHdna and the smallest 25% of SWITCHdna-defined genomic segments were called micro-aberrations (<64 contiguous probes, ~ 15 kb).

RESULTS:

Our data showed that primary tumor breast cancer genomes frequently contained many small-scale copy number gains and losses, termed micro-aberrations, most of which are undetectable using typical-density genome-wide aCGH arrays. The basal-like subtype exhibited the highest incidence of these events. These micro-aberrations sometimes altered expression of the involved gene. We confirmed the presence of the PTEN micro-amplification in SUM149 and by mRNA-seq showed that this resulted in loss of expression of all exons downstream of this event. Micro-aberrations disproportionately affected the 5' regions of the affected genes, including the promoter region, and high frequency of micro-aberrations was associated with poor survival.

CONCLUSION:

Using a high-probe-density, gene-centric aCGH microarray, we present evidence of small-scale genomic aberrations that can contribute to gene inactivation. These events may contribute to tumor formation through mechanisms not detected using conventional DNA copy number analyses.

PMID:
23284754
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3524128
Free PMC Article
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