Common variation at BARD1 results in the expression of an oncogenic isoform that influences neuroblastoma susceptibility and oncogenicity

Kristopher R. Bosse, Sharon J. Diskin, Kristina A. Cole, Andrew C. Wood, Robert W. Schnepp, Geoffrey Norris, Le B. Nguyen, Jayanti Jagannathan, Michael Laquaglia, Cynthia Winter, Maura Diamond, Cuiping Hou, Edward F. Attiyeh, Yael P. Mosse, Vanessa Pineros, Eva Dizin, Yongqiang Zhang, Shahab Asgharzadeh, Robert C. Seeger, Mario CapassoBruce R. Pawel, Marcella Devoto, Hakon Hakonarson, Eric F. Rappaport, Irmgard Irminger-Finger, John M. Maris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanisms underlying genetic susceptibility at loci discovered by genome-wide association study (GWAS) approaches in human cancer remain largely undefined. In this study, we characterized the high-risk neuroblastoma association at the BRCA1-related locus, BARD1, showing that disease-associated variations correlate with increased expression of the oncogenically activated isoform, BARD1b. In neuroblastoma cells, silencing of BARD1β showed genotype-specific cytotoxic effects, including decreased substrate-adherence, anchorage-independence, and foci growth. In established murine fibroblasts, overexpression of BARD1b was sufficient for neoplastic transformation. BARD1b stabilized the Aurora family of kinases in neuroblastoma cells, suggesting both a mechanism for the observed effect and a potential therapeutic strategy. Together, our findings identify BARD1b as an oncogenic driver of high-risk neuroblastoma tumorigenesis, and more generally, they illustrate how robust GWAS signals offer genomic landmarks to identify molecular mechanisms involved in both tumor initiation and malignant progression. The interaction of BARD1b with the Aurora family of kinases lends strong support to the ongoing work to develop Aurora kinase inhibitors for clinically aggressive neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2068-2078
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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