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Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Jan;17(1):54-69. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-17-0357. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Combining Homologous Recombination and Phosphopeptide-binding Data to Predict the Impact of BRCA1 BRCT Variants on Cancer Risk.

Author information

1
Service de Génétique, Département de Biologie des Tumeurs, Institut Curie, Paris, France.
2
Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris Sud, UMR 9198, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
3
Institut Gustave Roussy, CNRS UMR 8200, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.
4
Team labeled "Ligue 2014," Villejuif, France.
5
Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, CNRS UPR 2301, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
6
Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris Sud, UMR 9198, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France. sandrine.caputo@curie.fr sophie.zinn@cea.fr.

Abstract

BRCA1 mutations have been identified that increase the risk of developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Genetic screening is now offered to patients with a family history of cancer, to adapt their treatment and the management of their relatives. However, a large number of BRCA1 variants of uncertain significance (VUS) are detected. To better understand the significance of these variants, a high-throughput structural and functional analysis was performed on a large set of BRCA1 VUS. Information on both cellular localization and homology-directed DNA repair (HR) capacity was obtained for 78 BRCT missense variants in the UMD-BRCA1 database and measurement of the structural stability and phosphopeptide-binding capacities was performed for 42 mutated BRCT domains. This extensive and systematic analysis revealed that most characterized causal variants affect BRCT-domain solubility in bacteria and all impair BRCA1 HR activity in cells. Furthermore, binding to a set of 5 different phosphopeptides was tested: all causal variants showed phosphopeptide-binding defects and no neutral variant showed such defects. A classification is presented on the basis of mutated BRCT domain solubility, phosphopeptide-binding properties, and VUS HR capacity. These data suggest that HR-defective variants, which present, in addition, BRCT domains either insoluble in bacteria or defective for phosphopeptide binding, lead to an increased cancer risk. Furthermore, the data suggest that variants with a WT HR activity and whose BRCT domains bind with a WT affinity to the 5 phosphopeptides are neutral. The case of variants with WT HR activity and defective phosphopeptide binding should be further characterized, as this last functional defect might be sufficient per se to lead to tumorigenesis. IMPLICATIONS: The analysis of the current study on BRCA1 structural and functional defects on cancer risk and classification presented may improve clinical interpretation and therapeutic selection.

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