Research Papers:

miRNA expression patterns in normal breast tissue and invasive breast cancers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germ-line mutation carriers

Shoko Vos _, Farhad Vesuna, Venu Raman, Paul J. van Diest and Petra van der Groep

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:32115-32137. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5617

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Shoko Vos1, Farhad Vesuna2, Venu Raman1,2, Paul J. van Diest1,2 and Petra van der Groep1

1 Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

2 Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Correspondence to:

Shoko Vos, email:

Keywords: breast cancer, hereditary, BRCA1, BRCA2, miRNA

Received: April 22, 2015 Accepted: August 13, 2015 Published: September 11, 2015


miRNA deregulation has been found to promote carcinogenesis. Little is known about miRNA deregulation in hereditary breast tumors as no miRNA expression profiling studies have been performed in normal breast tissue of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. miRNA profiles of 17 BRCA1- and 9 BRCA2-associated breast carcinomas were analyzed using microarrays. Normal breast tissues from BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers (both n = 5) and non-mutation carriers (n = 10) were also included. Candidate miRNAs were validated by qRT-PCR. Breast carcinomas showed extensive miRNA alteration compared to normal breast tissues in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Moreover, normal breast tissue from BRCA1 mutation carriers already showed miRNA alterations compared to non-mutation carriers. Chromosomal distribution analysis showed several hotspots containing down- or up-regulated miRNAs. Pathway analysis yielded many similarities between the BRCA1 and BRCA2 axes with miRNAs involved in cell cycle regulation, proliferation and apoptosis. Lesser known pathways were also affected, including cellular movement and protein trafficking. This study provides a comprehensive insight into the potential role of miRNA deregulation in BRCA1/2-associated breast carcinogenesis. The observed extensive miRNA deregulation is likely the result of genome-wide effects of chromosomal instability caused by impaired BRCA1 or BRCA2 function. This study’s results also suggest the existence of common pathways driving breast carcinogenesis in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 germ-line mutation carriers.

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