|Evolutionary pathways in BRCA1-associated breast tumors.|
Martins, Filipe C, et al.
Cancer Discov, 2: 503-11 (2012)
BRCA1-associated breast tumors display loss of BRCA1 and frequent somatic mutations of PTEN and TP53. Here we describe the analysis of BRCA1, PTEN, and p53 at the single cell level in 55 BRCA1-associated breast tumors and computational methods to predict the relative temporal order of somatic events, on the basis of the frequency of cells with single or combined alterations. Although there is no obligatory order of events, we found that loss of PTEN is the most common first event and is associated with basal-like subtype, whereas in the majority of luminal tumors, mutation of TP53 occurs first and mutant PIK3CA is rarely detected. We also observed intratumor heterogeneity for the loss of wild-type BRCA1 and increased cell proliferation and centrosome amplification in the normal breast epithelium of BRCA1 mutation carriers. Our results have important implications for the design of chemopreventive and therapeutic interventions in this high-risk patient population.
|Localization of human BRCA1 and its loss in high-grade, non-inherited breast carcinomas.|
Wilson, C A, et al.
Nat. Genet., 21: 236-40 (1999)
Although the link between the BRCA1 tumour-suppressor gene and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is established, the role, if any, of BRCA1 in non-familial cancers is unclear. BRCA1 mutations are rare in sporadic cancers, but loss of BRCA1 resulting from reduced expression or incorrect subcellular localization is postulated to be important in non-familial breast and ovarian cancers. Epigenetic loss, however, has not received general acceptance due to controversy regarding the subcellular localization of BRCA1 proteins, reports of which have ranged from exclusively nuclear, to conditionally nuclear, to the ER/golgi, to cytoplasmic invaginations into the nucleus. In an attempt to resolve this issue, we have comprehensively characterized 19 anti-BRCA1 antibodies. These reagents detect a 220-kD protein localized in discrete nuclear foci in all epithelial cell lines, including those derived from breast malignancies. Immunohistochemical staining of human breast specimens also revealed BRCA1 nuclear foci in benign breast, invasive lobular cancers and low-grade ductal carcinomas. Conversely, BRCA1 expression was reduced or undetectable in the majority of high-grade, ductal carcinomas, suggesting that absence of BRCA1 may contribute to the pathogenesis of a significant percentage of sporadic breast cancers.