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X chromosome inactivation pattern in BRCA gene mutation carriers

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sir John BurnORCiD


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An association of preferential X chromosome inactivation (XCI) with BRCA gene status and breast/ovarian cancer risk has been reported. We evaluated XCI in a large group of BRCA mutation carriers compared to non-carriers and investigated associations between preferential XCI (>= 90: 10) and age, mutated gene, cancer development and chemotherapy. XCI was analysed by human androgen receptor (HUMARA) assay and pyrosequencing in 437 BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers and 445 age-matched controls. The distribution of XCI patterns in the two groups was compared by logistic regression analysis. The association between preferential XCI and selected variables was investigated in both univariate and multivariate fashion. In univariate analyses preferential XCI was not significantly associated with the probability of being a BRCA mutation carrier, nor with cancer status, whereas chemotherapeutic regime and age both showed a significant association. In multivariate analysis only age maintained significance (odds ratio, 1.056; 95% confidence interval, 1.016-1.096). Our findings do not support the usefulness of XCI analysis for the identification of BRCA mutation carriers and cancer risk assessment. The increasing preferential XCI frequency with ageing and the association with chemotherapy justify extending the investigation to other categories of female cancer patients to identify possible X-linked loci implicated in cell survival.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Manoukian S, Verderio P, Tabano S, Colapietro P, Pizzamiglio S, Grati FR, Calvello M, Peissel B, Burn J, Pensotti V, Allemani C, Sirchia SM, Radice P, Miozzo M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Cancer

Year: 2013

Volume: 49

Issue: 5

Pages: 1136-1141

Print publication date: 09/11/2012

ISSN (print): 0959-8049

ISSN (electronic): 1879-0852

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2012.10.013


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Funder referenceFunder name
Italian Foundation for Cancer Research
Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico
2006067497Italian Ministry of University and Research