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Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Aug 15;17(16):5451-62. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-0263. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

BARD1 expression predicts outcome in colon cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.



BARD1 is a BRCA1-binding partner with tumor suppressive properties. Aberrant splice variants of BARD1 have been detected in various cancers, and it has been postulated that the presence of some splice variants is cancer specific. This is the first study assessing BARD1 expression patterns and correlation with clinical outcome in colon cancer.


We analyzed colon cancer samples for the occurrence of BARD1 splice variants, characterized novel BARD1 splice variants, and quantified the mRNA expression levels of these isoforms in primary colon cancers and their corresponding normal tissue. We tested the correlation of full-length BARD1 protein expression and clinical outcome in primary colon cancer samples.


In addition to the full-length BARD1 mRNA, we now find 19 distinct BARD1 splice variants in colon cancer. Contrary to previous assumptions, these splice variants also occur in the adjacent normal colon tissue. Although BARD1 splice variants account for a considerable amount of BARD1 mRNA in both cancer and normal colon samples, distinct variants show a cancer-specific regulation pattern. Consistent with its role as tumor suppressor, we further find that the expression of the full-length BARD1 protein predicts outcome in colon cancer and that loss of full-length BARD1 protein is associated with a poor prognosis (P = 0.0002).


Taken together, this is the first report to suggest that BARD1 regulation is an important pathway in colon cancer and that the BARD1 full-length protein may be a useful marker to improve risk stratification in colon cancer patients.

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