Detection of ATM germline variants by the p53 mitotic centrosomal localization test in BRCA1/2-negative patients with early-onset breast cancer

Andrea Prodosmo, Amelia Buffone, Manlio Mattioni, Agnese Barnabei, Agnese Persichetti, Aurora De Leo, Marialuisa Appetecchia, Arianna Nicolussi, Anna Coppa, Salvatore Sciacchitano, Carolina Giordano, Paola Pinnarò, Giuseppe Sanguineti, Lidia Strigari, Gabriele Alessandrini, Francesco Facciolo, Maurizio Cosimelli, Gian Luca Grazi, Giacomo Corrado, Enrico VizzaGiuseppe Giannini, Silvia Soddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Variant ATM heterozygotes have an increased risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Costs and time of sequencing and ATM variant complexity make large-scale, general population screenings not cost-effective yet. Recently, we developed a straightforward, rapid, and inexpensive test based on p53 mitotic centrosomal localization (p53-MCL) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) that diagnoses mutant ATM zygosity and recognizes tumor-associated ATM polymorphisms. Methods: Fresh PBMCs from 496 cancer patients were analyzed by p53-MCL: 90 cases with familial BRCA1/2-positive and -negative breast and/or ovarian cancer, 337 with sporadic cancers (ovarian, lung, colon, and post-menopausal breast cancers), and 69 with breast/thyroid cancer. Variants were confirmed by ATM sequencing. Results: A total of seven individuals with ATM variants were identified, 5/65 (7.7 %) in breast cancer cases of familial breast and/or ovarian cancer and 2/69 (2.9 %) in breast/thyroid cancer. No variant ATM carriers were found among the other cancer cases. Excluding a single case in which both BRCA1 and ATM were mutated, no p53-MCL alterations were observed in BRCA1/2-positive cases. Conclusions: These data validate p53-MCL as reliable and specific test for germline ATM variants, confirm ATM as breast cancer susceptibility gene, and highlight a possible association with breast/thyroid cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 6 2016


  • ATM cancer susceptibility gene
  • BRCA1/2
  • Early-onset breast cancer
  • p53-mitotic centrosomal localization (p53-MCL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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