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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37432. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037432. Epub 2012 May 24.

Full-exon pyrosequencing screening of BRCA germline mutations in Mexican women with inherited breast and ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Genómica, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Tlalpan, México.


Hereditary breast cancer comprises 10% of all breast cancers. The most prevalent genes causing this pathology are BRCA1 and BRCA2 (breast cancer early onset 1 and 2), which also predispose to other cancers. Despite the outstanding relevance of genetic screening of BRCA deleterious variants in patients with a history of familial cancer, this practice is not common in Latin American public institutions. In this work we assessed mutations in the entire exonic and splice-site regions of BRCA in 39 patients with breast and ovarian cancer and with familial history of breast cancer or with clinical features suggestive for BRCA mutations by massive parallel pyrosequencing. First we evaluated the method with controls and found 41-485 reads per sequence in BRCA pathogenic mutations. Negative controls did not show deleterious variants, confirming the suitability of the approach. In patients diagnosed with cancer we found 4 novel deleterious mutations (c.2805_2808delAGAT and c.3124_3133delAGCAATATTA in BRCA1; c.2639_2640delTG and c.5114_5117delTAAA in BRCA2). The prevalence of BRCA mutations in these patients was 10.2%. Moreover, we discovered 16 variants with unknown clinical significance (11 in exons and 5 in introns); 4 were predicted as possibly pathogenic by in silico analyses, and 3 have not been described previously. This study illustrates how massive pyrosequencing technology can be applied to screen for BRCA mutations in the whole exonic and splice regions in patients with suspected BRCA-related cancers. This is the first effort to analyse the mutational status of BRCA genes on a Mexican-mestizo population by means of pyrosequencing.

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