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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Apr;114(3):457-62. doi: 10.1007/s10549-008-0036-z. Epub 2008 Apr 30.

The prevalence of PALB2 germline mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2 negative Chinese women with early onset breast cancer or affected relatives.

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Breast Cancer Institute, Cancer Hospital/Cancer Institute, Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, 270 Dong'an Road, Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China.


PALB2 has been recently identified as breast cancer susceptibility gene in western populations. To investigate the contribution of PALB2 mutations to Chinese non-BRCA1/BRCA2 hereditary breast cancer, we screened all coding exons and intron-exon boundaries of PALB2 in 360 Chinese women with early-onset breast cancer or affected relatives from five breast disease clinical centers in China by utilizing PCR-DHPLC and DNA sequencing analysis. Some genetic variants identified in the cases were then studied in 864 normal controls with no personal or family history of breast cancer. Two protein-truncating PALB2 mutations, 751C>T and 1050_1051delAAinsTCT, were identified in three separate families, and 751C>T was a recurrent mutation. Neither of them, however, were present in the controls (P=0.025). All the truncating mutations occurred in exon 4 of PALB2, and there were still three unclassified variants were detected in the same fragment. We found that exon 4 accounted for 44.1% (15/34) of the person-times carrying with any variant in our study. PALB2 mutations were responsible for approximately 1% of Chinese women with early-onset breast cancer and affected relatives. Our results suggested that a detection of exon 4 before the assay of the whole PALB2 gene might be a cost-effective approach to the screening of Chinese population.

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