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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2011 Apr;137(4):669-75. doi: 10.1007/s00432-010-0912-x. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Evaluating mitochondrial DNA in patients with breast cancer and benign breast disease.

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Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou 325000, China.



To evaluate the role of mtDNA in breast cancer.


We carried out an investigation into the mtDNA major control region or D-loop region and an essential and the largest mtDNA protein-coding gene, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5), together with a mitochondrial haplogroup analysis in 64 patients with breast cancer (BC) and 54 patients with benign breast disease (BBD) as controls.


Mutations in D-loop region were found in 10/64 or 15.6% of patients with BC and 14/54 or 25.9% of patients with BBD, while mutations in ND5 were detected in 6/64 or 9.4% of patients with BC and 5/54 or 9.3% of patients with BBD. In addition, in patients with BBD, mtDNA mutations were more likely to rise in D-loop region and the mutations were more likely to be heteroplasmic. However, in patients with BC, those with metastatic feature were less likely to carry mutations in D-loop region. Finally, we found haplogroup M has an increased risk of breast cancer compared with haplogroup N.


mtDNA mutation may play a role in early stage of tumorigenesis, and mitochondrial haplogroup can also modulate breast cancer occurrence.

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