Large genomic deletions inactivate the BRCA2 gene in breast cancer families.

S. Agata, M. Dalla Palma, M. Callegaro, M. C. Scaini, C. Menin, C. Ghiotto, O. Nicoletto, G. Zavagno, L. Chieco-Bianchi, E. D'Andrea, M. Montagna

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BACKGROUND: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the two major genes responsible for the breast and ovarian cancers that cluster in families with a genetically determined predisposition. However, regardless of the mutation detection method employed, the percentage of families without identifiable alterations of these genes exceeds 50%, even when applying stringent criteria for family selection. A small but significant increase in mutation detection rate has resulted from the discovery of large genomic alterations in BRCA1. A few studies have addressed the question of whether BRCA2 might be inactivated by the same kinds of alteration, but most were either done on a relatively small number of samples or employed cumbersome mutation detection methods of variable sensitivity. OBJECTIVE: To analyse 121 highly selected families using the recently available BRCA2 multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MLPA) technique. RESULTS: Three different large genomic deletions were identified and confirmed by analysis of the mutant transcript and genomic characterisation of the breakpoints. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to initial suggestions, the presence of BRCA2 genomic rearrangements is worth investigating in high risk breast or ovarian cancer families.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Genetics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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