Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension KnowledgeBase (bioinfom_tsdb)
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension KnowledgeBase
General information | Literature | Expression | Regulation | Mutation | Interaction

Basic Information

Gene ID





BRCAI|BRCC1|BROVCA1|FANCS|IRIS|PNCA4|PPP1R53|PSCP|RNF53;breast cancer 1, early onset;BRCA1;breast cancer 1, early onset


BRCA1/BRCA2-containing complex, subunit 1|Fanconi anemia, complementation group S|RING finger protein 53|breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility protein 1|breast and ovarian cancer sususceptibility protein 1|breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein|pr



Gene type




Role of the tumor suppressor gene Brca1 in genetic stability and mammary gland tumor formation.

Germline mutations in the tumor suppressor BRCA1 predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers. Current evidence demonstrates that mutations in BRCA1 do not directly result in tumor formation, but instead cause genetic instability, subjecting cells to high risks of malignant transformation. In an animal model in which Brca1 is mutated specifically in mammary epithelium, tumorigenesis occurs in mutant glands at low frequency after a long latency. Notably, introduction of a p53-null allele significantly enhanced mammary gland tumor formation in Brca1 conditional mutant mice. These results are consistent with a model that Brca1 is a caretaker gene, whose absence causes genetic instability and triggers further alterations, including inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and/or activation of oncogenes, leading to tumor formation.

Nuclear localization and cell cycle-specific expression of CtIP, a protein that associates with the BRCA1 tumor suppressor.

The BRCA1 tumor suppressor has been implicated in a diverse spectrum of cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation, DNA repair, and cell cycle checkpoint control. CtIP was recently identified as a protein that associates with BRCA1 and two other nuclear factors, CtBP1 and Rb1. To understand the functions of CtIP, we have evaluated its biological properties with respect to those of BRCA1. Our results show that CtIP, like its associated factors, is predominantly a nuclear protein. A subset of the endogenous pool of CtIP polypeptides exists in a protein complex that includes both BRCA1 and the BRCA1-associated RING domain protein (BARD1). At the protein level, CtIP expression varies with cell cycle progression in a pattern identical to that of BRCA1. Thus, the steady-state levels of CtIP polypeptides, which remain low in resting cells and G(1) cycling cells, increase dramatically as dividing cells traverse the G(1)/S boundary. In contrast to BRCA1, however, the G(1)/S induction of CtIP expression is mediated primarily by post-transcriptional mechanisms. Finally, the interaction between CtIP and BRCA1 is shown to be stable in the face of genotoxic stress elicited by treatment with UV light, adriamycin, or hydrogen peroxide. Together, these results indicate that CtIP can potentially modulate the functions ascribed to BRCA1 in transcriptional regulation, DNA repair, and/or cell cycle checkpoint control.

The LIM domain protein LMO4 interacts with the cofactor CtIP and the tumor suppressor BRCA1 and inhibits BRCA1 activity.

LMO4 belongs to the LIM-only (LMO) group of transcriptional regulators that appear to function as molecular adaptors for protein-protein interactions. expression of the LMO4 gene is developmentally regulated in the mammary gland and is up-regulated in primary breast cancers. Using LMO4 in a yeast two-hybrid screen, we have identified the cofactor CtIP as an LMO4-binding protein. Interaction with CtIP appeared to be specific for the LMO subclass of LIM domain proteins and could be mediated by a single LIM motif of LMO4. We further identified the breast tumor suppressor BRCA1 as an LMO4-associated protein. The C-terminal BRCT domains of BRCA1, previously shown to bind CtIP, also mediated interaction with LMO4. Tumor-associated mutations within the BRCT repeats that abolish interaction between BRCA1 and CtIP had no effect on the association of BRCA1 with LMO4. A stable complex comprising LMO4, BRCA1, and CtIP was demonstrated in vivo. The LIM domain binding-protein Ldb1 also participated in this multiprotein complex. In functional assays, LMO4 was shown to repress BRCA1-mediated transcriptional activation in both yeast and mammalian cells. These findings reveal a novel complex between BRCA1, LMO4, and CtIP and indicate a role for LMO4 as a repressor of BRCA1 activity in breast tissue.

Checking in on Cds1 (Chk2): A checkpoint kinase and tumor suppressor.

Together, DNA repair and checkpoint responses ensure the integrity of the genome. Coordination of cell cycle checkpoints and DNA repair are especially important following genotoxic radiation or chemotherapy, during which unusually high loads of DNA damage are sustained. In mammalian cells, the checkpoint kinase, Cds1 (also known as Chk2) is activated by ATM in response to DNA damage. The role of Cds1 as a checkpoint kinase depends on its ability to phosphorylate cell cycle regulators such p53, Cdc25 and Brca1. A role for Cds1 in repair is suggested by the finding that it interacts with the Holliday junction resolving activity Mus81. This review focuses on the many questions generated by recent progress in understanding the function and regulation of human Cds1.

Tumor suppressor gene BRCA-1 is expressed by embryonic and adult neural stem cells and involved in cell proliferation.

BRCA-1 is a tumor suppressor gene that plays a role in DNA repair and cellular growth control. Here we show that BRCA-1 mRNA is expressed by embryonic rat brain and is localized to the neuroepithelium containing neuronal precursor cells. The expression of BRCA-1 decreases during rat brain development, but BRCA-1 is expressed postnatally by proliferating neuronal precursor cells in the developing cerebellum. Neural stem cells (NSC) prepared from embryonic rat brain and cultured in the presence of epidermal growth factor were positive for BRCA-1. Induction of NSC differentiation resulted in down-regulation of BRCA-1 expression as shown by RNA and protein analyses. In addition to embryonic cells, BRCA-1 is also present in NSC prepared from adult rat brain. In adult rats, BRCA1 was expressed by cells in the walls of brain ventricles and in choroid plexus. The results show that BRCA-1 is present in embryonic and adult rat NSC and that the expression is linked to NSC proliferation.

Loss of Bard1, the heterodimeric partner of the Brca1 tumor suppressor, results in early embryonic lethality and chromosomal instability.

The BRCA1 tumor suppressor has been implicated in many cellular pathways, but the mechanisms by which it suppresses tumor formation are not fully understood. In vivo BRCA1 forms a heterodimeric complex with the related BARD1 protein, and its enzymatic activity as a ubiquitin ligase is largely dependent upon its interaction with BARD1. To explore the genetic relationship between BRCA1 and BARD1, we have examined the phenotype of Bard1-null mice. These mice become developmentally retarded and die between embryonic day 7.5 (E7.5) and E8.5. Embryonic lethality results from a severe impairment of cell proliferation that is not accompanied by increased apoptosis. In the absence of p53, the developmental defects associated with Bard1 deficiency are partly ameliorated, and the lethality of Bard1; p53-nullizygous mice is delayed until E9.5. This result, together with the increased chromosomal aneuploidy of Bard1 mutant cells, indicates a role for Bard1 in maintaining genomic stability. The striking similarities between the phenotypes of Bard1-null, Brca1-null, and double Bard1; Brca1-null mice provide strong genetic evidence that the developmental functions of Brca1 and Bard1 are mediated by the Brca1/Bard1 heterodimer.

Tumor formation in mice with conditional inactivation of Brca1 in epithelial tissues.

The BRCA1 tumor-suppressor protein has been implicated in the regulation of transcription, DNA repair, proliferation, and apoptosis. BRCA1 is expressed in many proliferative tissues and this is at least in part due to E2F-dependent transcriptional control. In this study, inactivation of a conditional murine Brca1 allele was achieved in a variety of epithelial tissues via expression of the Cre recombinase under the control of a keratin 5 (K5) promoter. The K5 Cre:Brca1 conditional knockout mice exhibited modest epidermal hyperproliferation, increased apoptosis, and were predisposed to developing tumors in the skin, the inner ear canal, and the oral epithelium after 1 year of age. Overexpression of the E2F1 transcription factor in K5 Cre:Brca1 conditional knockout mice dramatically accelerated tumor development. In addition, Brca1 heterozygous female mice that had elevated E2F1 expression developed tumors of the reproductive tract at high incidence. These findings demonstrate that in mice Brca1 functions as a tumor suppressor in other epithelial tissues in addition to the mammary gland. Moreover, inactivation of Brca1 is shown to cooperate with deregulation of the Rb-E2F1 pathway to promote tumorigenesis.

Breast and ovarian cancer risks due to inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Risks of breast and ovarian cancer were determined for Ashkenazi Jewish women with inherited mutations in the tumor suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. We selected 1008 index cases, regardless of family history of cancer, and carried out molecular analysis across entire families. The lifetime risk of breast cancer among female mutation carriers was 82%, similar to risks in families with many cases. Risks appear to be increasing with time: Breast cancer risk by age 50 among mutation carriers born before 1940 was 24%, but among those born after 1940 it was 67%. Lifetime risks of ovarian cancer were 54% for BRCA1 and 23% for BRCA2 mutation carriers. Physical exercise and lack of obesity in adolescence were associated with significantly delayed breast cancer onset.

Ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor is regulated during cell cycle progression.

The BRCA1 tumor suppressor and the BARD1 protein form a stable heterodimeric complex that can catalyze the formation of polyubiquitin chains. expression of BRCA1 fluctuates in a cell cycle-dependent manner, such that low steady-state levels of BRCA1 gene products are found in resting cells and early G1 cycling cells and high levels in S and G2 phase cells. Although transcriptional activation of the BRCA1 gene can account for induction of BRCA1 expression at the G1/S transition, the mechanisms by which BRCA1 is down-regulated during cell cycle progression have not been addressed. Here we show that the steady-state levels of BRCA1 protein remain elevated throughout mitosis but begin to decline at the M/G1 transition. This decline in BRCA1 levels coincides with the appearance of proteasome-sensitive ubiquitin conjugates of BRCA1 at the onset of G1. Formation of these conjugates occurs throughout G1 and S, but not in cells arrested in prometaphase by nocodazole. The proteasome-sensitive ubiquitin conjugates of BRCA1 appear to be distinct from BRCA1 autoubiquitination products and are probably catalyzed by the action of other cellular E3 ligases. Interestingly, co-expression of BARD1 inhibits the formation of these conjugates, suggesting that BARD1 serves to stabilize BRCA1 expression in part by reducing proteasome-sensitive ubiquitination of BRCA1 polypeptides. In summary, these data indicate that the cell cycle-dependent pattern of BRCA1 expression is determined in part by ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation.

BRCA1 affects lipid synthesis through its interaction with acetyl-CoA carboxylase.

Germ line alterations in BRCA1 (breast cancer susceptibility gene 1) are associated with an increased susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. BRCA1 acts as a scaffold protein implicated in multiple cellular functions, such as transcription, DNA repair, and ubiquitination. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for tumorigenesis are not yet fully understood. We have recently demonstrated that BRCA1 interacts in vivo with acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase alpha (ACCA) through its tandem of BRCA1 C terminus (BRCT) domains. To understand the biological function of the BRCA1.ACCA complex, we sought to determine whether BRCA1 is a regulator of lipogenesis through its interaction with ACCA. We showed here that RNA inhibition-mediated down-regulation of BRCA1 expression induced a marked increase in the fatty acid synthesis. We then delineated the biochemical characteristics of the complex and found that BRCA1 interacts solely with the phosphorylated and inactive form of ACCA (P-ACCA). Finally, we demonstrated that BRCA1 affects lipid synthesis by preventing P-ACCA dephosphorylation. These results suggest that BRCA1 affects lipogenesis through binding to P-ACCA, providing a new mechanism by which BRCA1 may exert a tumor suppressor function.

BRCA1 interacts with poly(A)-binding protein: implication of BRCA1 in translation regulation.

BRCA1 has been implicated in a number of cellular processes, including transcription regulation, DNA damage repair, cell cycle control, and apoptosis. We identified poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PABP) as a novel BRCA1-interacting protein in a yeast two-hybrid screen and confirmed the interaction by in vitro assays and coimmunoprecipitation in mammalian cells. Endogenous interaction between BRCA1 and PABP was also observed. This interaction was abolished by BRCA1 cancer-associated mutations, suggesting that it may be physiologically relevant. Deletion mapping demonstrated that the RNA recognition motifs 1-4 region of PABP is required to mediate the interaction with BRCA1. To understand the biological function of the BRCA1-PABP complex, we sought to determine whether BRCA1 is a modulator of translation. We showed here that inhibition of endogenous BRCA1 using a small interfering RNA-based approach decreased protein synthesis. Conversely, overexpression of BRCA1 activated translation. Using a RNA transfection approach, we clearly showed that BRCA1 modulates translation, independently of any transcriptional activity. The data presented here suggest that BRCA1 modulates protein synthesis via its interaction with PABP, providing a novel mechanism by which BRCA1 may exert its tumor suppressor function.

Tumor suppressor BRCA1 inhibits a breast cancer-associated promoter of the aromatase gene (CYP19) in human adipose stromal cells.

Adipose tissue provides an important extragonadal source of estrogen. Obesity-associated elevation of estrogen production increases risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Aromatase (CYP19), which converts androgen to estrogen, is a key enzyme in estrogen biosynthesis. In normal adipose tissue, transcription of the aromatase gene is initiated from a relatively weak adipose-specific promoter (I.4). However, in breast cancer, a switch of promoter utilization from I.4 to a strong ovary-specific promoter, PII, leads to increased aromatase expression and, hence, elevated estrogen production. Here, we report an intriguing relationship between the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 and aromatase expression in human adipose stromal cells (ASCs). Upon stimulation by phorbol ester or dexamethasone, increased aromatase expression in ASCs was accompanied by significant reduction of the BRCA1 level. In addition, adipogenesis-induced aromatase expression was also inversely correlated with BRCA1 abundance. Downregulation of BRCA1 expression in response to various stimuli was through distinct transcription or posttranscription mechanisms. Importantly, siRNA-mediated knockdown of BRCA1 led to specific activation of the breast cancer-associated PII promoter. Therefore, in addition to its well-characterized activities in breast epithelial cells, a role of BRCA1 in modulation of estrogen biosynthesis in ASCs may also contribute to its tissue-specific tumor suppressor function.

Medullary carcinoma of breast with a novel germline mutation 1123T >G in exon 11 of BRCA1.

Breast cancer, the most common malignancy in females, has an estimated 5-10% hereditary predisposition. BRCA1 is a tumor suppressor gene and is known to be responsible for breast cancer and breast-ovarian cancers running in families. In breast caner patients, several mutations in BRCA1 have been reported throughout the gene. This report describes identification of a mutation in BRCA1 gene using protein truncation (PTT) assay in a patient with medullary carcinoma of breast who also had a family history of breast cancer. Following DNA sequencing, the mutation was confirmed as substitution of thymine at position 1123 with guanine of exon 11 (1123 T>G). This mutation can be added to the pool of known BRCA1 mutations in Pakistani population, which will help in developing a local screening panel of BRCA1 mutations.

Missense mutations of BRCA1 gene affect the binding with p53 both in vitro and in vivo.

Women with BRCA1 gene mutations have an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer (BOC). Classification of missense variants as neutral or disease causing is still a challenge and has major implications for genetic counseling. BRCA1 is organized in an N-terminal ring-finger domain and two BRCT (breast cancer C-terminus) domains, involved in protein-protein interaction. The integrity of the C-terminal, BRCT repeat region is also critical for BRCA1 tumor suppressor function. Several molecular partners of BRCA1 have so far been identified; among them, the tumor suppressor protein p53 seems to play a major role. This study was aimed at evaluating the impact of two missense mutations, namely the W1837R and the S1841N, previously identified in BOC patients and located in the BRCT domain of the BRCA1 gene, on the binding capacity of this protein to p53. Co-immunoprecipitation assays of E. coli-expressed wild-type and mutated BRCTs challenged with a HeLa cell extract revealed, for the S1841N variant a significant reduction in the binding activity to p53, while the W1837R mutant showed an inverse effect. Furthermore, a clonogenic soft agar growth assay performed on HeLa cells stably transfected with either wild-type or mutant BRCA1 showed a marked decrease of the growth in wild-type BRCA1-overexpressing cells and in BRCA1S1841N-transfected cells, while no significant changes were detected in the BRCA1W1837R-transfected cells. These results demonstrate that: i) distinct single nucleotide changes in the BRCT domain of BRCA1 affect binding of this protein to the tumor suppressor p53, and ii) the two missense mutations here described are likely to play a role in breast tumorigenesis. We suggest that in vitro/in vivo experiments testing the effects of unclassified BRCA1 gene variants should therefore be taken in to consideration and that increased surveillance should be adopted in individuals bearing these two BRCA1 missense alterations.

MTA1-mediated transcriptional repression of BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene.

Metastasis-associated tumor antigen 1 (MTA1), a component of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylating (NuRD) complex is routinely upregulated in several cancers. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of MTA1 in BRCA1 transcriptional repression and subsequent chromosomal instability. MTA1-NuRD complex was found to negatively regulate BRCA1 transcription by physically associating with an atypical estrogen-responsive element (ERE) on the BRCA1 promoter. Moreover, MTA1 and HDAC complex recruited to the ERE of BRCA1 promoter in an ER alpha-dependent manner. Accordingly, BRCA1 protein levels were enhanced by silencing of either MTA1 expression or by treatment with the specific histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. MTA1s strong repressive effects on BRCA1 expression was supported by our observation that cells stably overexpressing MTA1 showed centrosome amplification which has been long implicated as a phenotype for BRCA1 repression. Accordingly, overexpression of BRCA1 in cells stably over expressing MTA1 resulted in restoration of normal centrosome numbers. Together, these findings strongly implicate MTA1 in the transcriptional repression of BRCA1 leading to abnormal centrosome number and chromosomal instability.

The basal-like mammary carcinomas induced by Brca1 or Bard1 inactivation implicate the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer in tumor suppression.

Women with germ-line mutations of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. The protein product of BRCA1 is involved in a broad spectrum of biological processes and interacts with many diverse proteins. One of these, BARD1, associates with BRCA1 to form a heterodimeric complex that is enzymatically active as an ubiquitin E3 ligase. Although the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer has been implicated in several aspects of BRCA1 function, its role in tumor suppression has not been evaluated. To address this question, we generated mouse strains carrying conditional alleles of either Bard1 or Brca1 and used Cre recombination to inactivate these genes in mammary epithelial cells. Significantly, the conditional Bard1- and Brca1-mutant mice developed breast carcinomas that are indistinguishable from each other (and from those of double conditional Bard1/Brca1-mutant animals) with respect to their frequency, latency, histopathology, and cytogenetic features. Reminiscent of the basal-like breast carcinomas seen in human BRCA1 mutation carriers, these tumors are "triple negative" for estrogen and progesterone receptor expression and HER2/neu amplification. They also express basal cytokeratins CK5 and CK14, have an elevated frequency of p53 lesions, and display high levels of chromosomal instability. The remarkable similarities between the mammary carcinomas of Bard1-, Brca1-, and Bard1/Brca1-mutant mice indicate that the tumor suppressor activities of both genes are mediated through the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer.

Loss of heterozygosity at the BRCA2 locus detected by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification is common in prostate cancers from men with a germline BRCA2 mutation.

PURPOSE: Prostate cancer risk is increased for men carrying a pathogenic germline mutation in BRCA2, and perhaps BRCA1. Our primary aim was to test for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the locus of the mutation in prostate cancers from men who a carry pathogenic germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and to assess clinical and pathologic features of these tumors. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: From 1,243 kConFab families: (a) 215 families carried a pathogenic BRCA1 mutation, whereas 188 families carried a pathogenic BRCA2 mutation; (b) of the 158 men diagnosed with prostate cancer (from 137 families), 8 were confirmed to carry the family-specific BRCA1 mutation, whereas 20 were confirmed to carry the family-specific BRCA2 mutation; and (c) 10 cases were eliminated from analysis because no archival material was available. The final cohort comprised 4 and 14 men with a BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation, respectively. We examined LOH at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification of DNA from microdissected tumor. RESULTS: LOH at BRCA2 was observed in 10 of 14 tumors from BRCA2 mutation carriers (71%), whereas no LOH at BRCA1 was observed in four tumors from BRCA1 mutation carriers (P = 0.02). Under the assumption that LOH occurs only because the cancer was caused by the germline mutation, carriers of BRCA2 mutations are at 3.5-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.8-12) increased risk of prostate cancer. A high Gleason was the only distinct clinical feature. CONCLUSIONS: These observations are consistent with the idea that BRCA2, but not BRCA1, is a tumor suppressor of prostate cancer.

Prepubertal physical activity up-regulates estrogen receptor beta, BRCA1 and p53 mRNA expression in the rat mammary gland.

Findings in BRCA1 mutation carriers suggest that physical activity, particularly during childhood, may be linked to a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. We investigated whether physical activity at puberty alters the expression of BRCA1 and two other tumor suppressor genes--p53 and estrogen receptor (ER)-beta--in rats. In addition, the effects on ER-alpha expression, mammary proliferation and functional epithelial differentiation were investigated as markers of altered mammary cancer risk in rats exposed to regular physical activity at puberty. Female Sprague Dawley rat pups were randomized to voluntary exercise, sham-exercise control and non-manipulated control groups. Treadmill training (20-25 m/min, 15% grade, 30 min/day, 5 days/week) started on postnatal day 14 and continued through day 32. Third thoracic mammary glands (n = 5 per group and age) were obtained at days 32, 48 and 100 and assessed for changes in morphology through wholemounts, and at 100 days cell proliferation by using Ki67 staining, protein levels of ER-alpha and ER-beta by immunohistochemistry, and mRNA expression levels of BRCA1, p53, ER-alpha and ER-beta by real-time PCR. Mammary glands of rats exposed to exercise during puberty contained fewer terminal end buds (TEBs) and a higher number of differentiated alveolar buds and lobules than the sham controls. However, cell proliferation was not significantly altered among the groups. ER-alpha protein levels were significantly reduced, while ER-beta levels were increased in the mammary ducts and lobular epithelial structures of 100-day old rays which were voluntarily exercised at puberty, compared to sham controls. ER-beta, BRCA1 and p53 mRNA levels were significantly higher in the mammary glands of 100-day-old exercised versus sham control rats. Pubertal physical activity reduced mammary epithelial targets for neoplastic transformation through epithelial differentiation and it also up-regulated tumor suppressor genes BRCA1, p53 and ER-beta, and reduced ER-alpha/ER-beta ratio in the mammary gland. It remains to be determined whether the up-regulation of BRCA1, and perhaps p53, explains the protective effect of childhood physical activity against breast cancer in women who carry a germline mutation in one of the BRCA1 alleles.

Tumor suppressor BRCA1 is expressed in prostate cancer and controls insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) gene transcription in an androgen receptor-dependent manner.

PURPOSE: The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system plays an important role in prostate cancer. The BRCA1 gene encodes a transcription factor with tumor suppressor activity. The involvement of BRCA1 in prostate cancer, however, has not yet been elucidated. The purpose of the present study was to examine the functional correlations between BRCA1 and the IGF system in prostate cancer. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: An immunohistochemical analysis of BRCA1 was done on tissue microarrays comprising 203 primary prostate cancer specimens. In addition, BRCA1 levels were measured in prostate cancer xenografts and in cell lines representing early stages (P69 cells) and advanced stages (M12 cells) of the disease. The ability of BRCA1 to regulate IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) expression was studied by coexpression experiments using a BRCA1 expression vector along with an IGF-IR promoter-luciferase reporter. RESULTS: We found significantly elevated BRCA1 levels in prostate cancer in comparison with histologically normal prostate tissue (P<0.001). In addition, an inverse correlation between BRCA1 and IGF-IR levels was observed in the androgen receptor (AR)-negative prostate cancer-derived P69 and M12 cell lines. Coexpression experiments in M12 cells revealed that BRCA1 was able to suppress IGF-IR promoter activity and endogenous IGF-IR levels. On the other hand, BRCA1 enhanced IGF-IR levels in LNCaP C4-2 cells expressing an endogenous AR. CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence that BRCA1 differentially regulates IGF-IR expression in AR-positive and AR-negative prostate cancer cells. The mechanism of action of BRCA1 involves modulation of IGF-IR gene transcription. In addition, immunohistochemical data are consistent with a potential survival role of BRCA1 in prostate cancer.

CpG island tumor suppressor promoter methylation in non-BRCA-associated early mammary carcinogenesis.

BACKGROUND: Only 5% of all breast cancers are the result of BRCA1/2 mutations. Methylation silencing of tumor suppressor genes is well described in sporadic breast cancer; however, its role in familial breast cancer is not known. METHODS: CpG island promoter methylation was tested in the initial random periareolar fine-needle aspiration sample from 109 asymptomatic women at high risk for breast cancer. Promoter methylation targets included RARB (M3 and M4), ESR1, INK4a/ARF, BRCA1, PRA, PRB, RASSF1A, HIN-1, and CRBP1. RESULTS: Although the overall frequency of CpG island promoter methylation events increased with age (P<0.0001), no specific methylation event was associated with age. In contrast, CpG island methylation of RARB M4 (P=0.051), INK4a/ARF (P=0.042), HIN-1 (P=0.044), and PRA (P=0.032), as well as the overall frequency of methylation events (P=0.004), was associated with abnormal Masood cytology. The association between promoter methylation and familial breast cancer was tested in 40 unaffected premenopausal women in our cohort who underwent BRCA1/2 mutation testing. Women with BRCA1/2 mutations had a low frequency of CpG island promoter methylation (15 of 15 women had mutation showed a high frequency of promoter methylation events (24 of 25 women had 5-8 methylation events; P<0.0001). Of women with a BRCA1/2 mutation, none showed methylation of HIN-1 and only 1 of 15 women showed CpG island methylation of RARB M4, INK4a/ARF, or PRB promoters. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first evidence of CpG island methylation of tumor suppressor gene promoters in non-BRCA1/2 familial breast cancer.

Identification of breast tumor mutations in BRCA1 that abolish its function in homologous DNA recombination.

Effects of breast cancer-associated gene 1 (BRCA1) missense mutations on the function of BRCA1 protein in DNA recombination have been little studied. In this report, we adapted a homology-directed recombination (HDR) assay to analyze the effects of BRCA1 mutations on this function. Using a HeLa-derived cell line with a genomically integrated recombination substrate, we expressed an endonuclease creating a double-stranded break in the substrate that the HDR assay scores by generation of green fluorescent protein-positive cells. By combining RNA interference (RNAi) that targets cellular BRCA1 mRNA with expression of RNAi-resistant BRCA1 mutants, we could effectively substitute selected point mutants to test these in the cellular recombination assay. We found that approximately 300 residues at both termini of the BRCA1 protein were essential for HDR. Whereas some mutations analyzed were neutral, mutations that altered any zinc-coordinating residue or generated M18T and T37R alterations were defective for recombination. This study established a robust assay system to analyze the function of BRCA1 in regulating homologous recombination, which is critical for its tumor suppressor function.

The UBXN1 protein associates with autoubiquitinated forms of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor and inhibits its enzymatic function.

Although the BRCA1 tumor suppressor has been implicated in many cellular processes, the biochemical mechanisms by which it influences these diverse pathways are poorly understood. The only known enzymatic function of BRCA1 is the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity mediated by its highly conserved RING domain. In vivo, BRCA1 associates with the BARD1 polypeptide to form a heterodimeric BRCA1/BARD1 complex that catalyzes autoubiquitination of BRCA1 and trans ubiquitination of other protein substrates. In most cases, BRCA1-dependent ubiquitination generates polyubiquitin chains bearing an unconventional K6 linkage that does not appear to target proteins for proteasomal degradation. Since ubiquitin-dependent processes are usually mediated by cellular receptors with ubiquitin-binding motifs, we screened for proteins that specifically bind autoubiquitinated BRCA1. Here we report that the UBXN1 polypeptide, which contains a ubiquitin-associated (UBA) motif, recognizes autoubiquitinated BRCA1. This occurs through a bipartite interaction in which the UBA domain of UBXN1 binds K6-linked polyubiquitin chains conjugated to BRCA1 while the C-terminal sequences of UBXN1 bind the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer in a ubiquitin-independent fashion. Significantly, the E3 ligase activity of BRCA1/BARD1 is dramatically reduced in the presence of UBXN1, suggesting that UBXN1 regulates the enzymatic function of BRCA1 in a manner that is dependent on its ubiquitination status.

HOXA9 regulates BRCA1 expression to modulate human breast tumor phenotype.

Breast cancer 1, early onset (BRCA1) expression is often reduced in sporadic breast tumors, even in the absence of BRCA1 genetic modifications, but the molecular basis for this is unknown. In this study, we identified homeobox A9 (HOXA9) as a gene frequently downregulated in human breast cancers and tumor cell lines and noted that reduced HOXA9 transcript levels associated with tumor aggression, metastasis, and patient mortality. Experiments revealed that loss of HOXA9 promoted mammary epithelial cell growth and survival and perturbed tissue morphogenesis. Restoring HOXA9 expression repressed growth and survival and inhibited the malignant phenotype of breast cancer cells in culture and in a xenograft mouse model. Molecular studies showed that HOXA9 restricted breast tumor behavior by directly modulating the expression of BRCA1. Indeed, ectopic expression of wild-type BRCA1 phenocopied the tumor suppressor function of HOXA9, and reducing BRCA1 levels or function inhibited the antitumor activity of HOXA9. Consistently, HOXA9 expression correlated with BRCA1 in clinical specimens and with tumor aggression in patients lacking estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor expression in their breast tissue. These findings indicate that HOXA9 restricts breast tumor aggression by modulating expression of the tumor suppressor gene BRCA1, which we believe provides an explanation for the loss of BRCA1 expression in sporadic breast tumors in the absence of BRCA1 genetic modifications.

Presymptomatic breast cancer in Egypt: role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes mutations detection.

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases affecting women. Inherited susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are considered in breast, ovarian and other common cancers etiology. BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been identified that confer a high degree of breast cancer risk. OBJECTIVE: Our study was performed to identify germline mutations in some exons of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes for the early detection of presymptomatic breast cancer in females. METHODS: This study was applied on Egyptian healthy females who first degree relatives to those, with or without a family history, infected with breast cancer. Sixty breast cancer patients, derived from 60 families, were selected for molecular genetic testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The study also included 120 healthy first degree female relatives of the patients, either sisters and/or daughters, for early detection of presymptomatic breast cancer mutation carriers. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood lymphocytes of all the studied subjects. Universal primers were used to amplify four regions of the BRCA1 gene (exons 2,8,13 and 22) and one region (exon 9) of BRCA2 gene using specific PCR. The polymerase chain reaction was carried out. Single strand conformation polymorphism assay and heteroduplex analysis were used to screen for mutations in the studied exons. In addition, DNA sequencing of the normal and mutated exons were performed. RESULTS: mutations in both BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were detected in 86.7% of the families. Current study indicates that 60% of these families were attributable to BRCA1 mutations, while 26.7% of them were attributable to BRCA2 mutations. Results showed that four mutations were detected in the BRCA1 gene, while one mutation was detected in the BRCA2 gene. Asymptomatic relatives, 80 (67%) out of total 120, were mutation carriers. CONCLUSIONS: BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes mutations are responsible for a significant proportion of breast cancer. BRCA mutations were found in individuals with and without family history.

BRCA1 regulation of base excision repair pathway.

The ability to predict tumor sensitivity toward radiotherapy may significantly impact the selection of patients for preoperative combined-modality therapy. The aim of the present study was to test the predictive value of Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) in rectal cancer patients and to investigate whether PLK1 plays a direct role in mediating radiation sensitivity. PLK1 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (n = 76) or Affymetrix HG133 microarray (n = 20) on pretreatment biopsies of patients with advanced rectal cancer. expression was correlated with both tumor regression in the resected specimen and long-term clinical outcome. Furthermore, we used small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to down-regulate PLK1 expression in colorectal cancer cells and analyzed the effects of PLK1-specific siRNAs by Western blot and quantitative real-time PCR analysis, FACScan analysis, caspase 3/7 assays, and colony-forming assays. We observed that increased PLK1 protein expression was significantly related to a poorer tumor regression and a higher risk of local recurrence in uni- and multivariate analysis. A significant decrease of PLK1 expression by siRNAs in combination with ionizing radiation induced an increased percentage of apoptotic cells and increased caspase 3/7 activity. Furthermore, enhanced G(2)-M levels, decreased cellular viability, and reduced clonogenic survival were demonstrated, indicating a radiosensitizing effect of PLK1 depletion. Therefore, PLK1 may be a novel predictive marker for radiation response as well as a promising therapeutic target in rectal cancer patients.

Methylation of the tumor suppressor protein, BRCA1, influences its transcriptional cofactor function.

BACKGROUND: Approximately half of hereditary breast cancers have mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2. BRCA1 is a multifaceted tumor suppressor protein that has implications in processes such as cell cycle, transcription, DNA damage response and chromatin remodeling. This multifunctional nature of BRCA1 is achieved by exerting its many effects through modulation of transcription. Many cellular events are dictated by covalent modification of proteins, an important mechanism in regulating protein and genome function; of which protein methylation is an important posttranslational modification with activating or repressive effects. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we demonstrate for the first time that BRCA1 is methylated both in breast cancer cell lines and breast cancer tumor samples at arginine and lysine residues through immunoprecipitation and western blot analysis. Arginine methylation by PRMT1 was observed in vitro and the region of BRCA1 504-802 shown to be highly methylated. PRMT1 was detected in complex with BRCA1 504-802 through in vitro binding assays and co-immunoprecipitated with BRCA1. Inhibition of methylation resulted in decreased BRCA1 methylation and alteration of BRCA1 binding to promoters in vivo as shown through chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Knockdown of PRMT1 also resulted in increased BRCA1 binding to particular promoters in vivo. Finally, following methylation inhibition, Sp1 was found to preferentially associate with hypo-methylated BRCA1 and STAT1 was found to preferentially associate with hyper-methylated BRCA1. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that methylation may influence either the ability of BRCA1 to bind to specific promoters or protein-protein interactions which alters the recruitment of BRCA1 to these promoters. Thus, given the importance of BRCA1 to genomic stability, methylation of BRCA1 may ultimately affect the tumor suppressor ability of BRCA1.

BRCA1 modulates the expression of hnRNPA2B1 and KHSRP.

Inactivation of the breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) plays a significant role in the development of a subset of familial breast and ovarian cancers, but increasing evidence points to a role also in sporadic tumors. BRCA1 is a multifunctional nuclear protein involved in the regulation of many nuclear cellular processes, including DNA repair, cell cycle, transcription and chromatin remodeling. To identify novel proteins participating in the BRCA1 network, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were used to compare the nuclear-enriched proteome map of BRCA1-deficient and BRCA1-proficient cell lines. Five differentially expressed polypeptides were identified and two of them, hnRNPA2B1 and KHSRP, turned out to be involved in mRNA and miRNA metabolism. qRT-PCR analyses indicated that the hnRNPA2B1 and KHSRP levels increased in response to BRCA1 loss and restoration of BRCA1 expression in BRCA1 null cells reverted hnRNPA2B1 and KHSRP up-regulation. Interrogation of publicly available transcriptional profiling datasets revealed that both genes were actually over-expressed in BRCA1 mutated tumors. Overall, our results indicate that BRCA1 modulates the expression of two proteins involved in the processing of RNA, highlighting the complex nature of BRCA1-associated tumor suppressor function and disclosing a novel mechanism by which BRCA1 may affect transcription.

Evolutionary dynamics of BRCA1 alterations in breast tumorigenesis.

cancer results from the accumulation of alterations in oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. tumor suppressors are classically defined as genes which contribute to tumorigenesis if their function is lost. genetic or epigenetic alterations inactivating such genes may arise during somatic cell divisions or alternatively may be inherited from a parent. One notable exception to this rule is the BRCA1 tumor suppressor that predisposes to hereditary breast cancer when lost. genetic alterations of this gene are hardly ever observed in sporadic breast cancer, while individuals harboring a germline mutation readily accumulate a second alteration inactivating the remaining allele--a finding which represents a conundrum in cancer genetics. In this paper, we present a novel mathematical framework of sporadic and hereditary breast tumorigenesis. We study the dynamics of genetic alterations driving breast tumorigenesis and explore those scenarios which can explain the absence of somatic BRCA1 alterations while replicating all other disease statistics. Our results support the existence of a heterozygous phenotype of BRCA1 and suggest that the loss of one BRCA1 allele may suppress the fitness advantage caused by the inactivation of other tumor suppressor genes. This paper contributes to the mathematical investigation of breast tumorigenesis.

Regulated recruitment of tumor suppressor BRCA1 to the p21 gene by coactivator methylation.

Tumor suppression by p53 and BRCA1 involves regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, and DNA repair and is influenced by transcriptional coactivators and post-translational modifications. Here we show that coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) methylates Arg 754 in the KIX region of coactivator p300. Methylated p300 and p300 protein fragments are preferentially recognized by BRCT domains of BRCA1, identifying the BRCT domain as a novel methylarginine-binding module. CARM1 and p300 cooperate with BRCA1 and p53 to induce expression of the critical cell cycle and proliferation regulator p21(WAF1/CIP1) in response to DNA damage. This induction was severely attenuated by elimination of CARM1 or its methyltransferase activity, or by mutation of Arg 754 of p300. Absence of CARM1 methyltransferase activity led to failure of cells to arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle in response to DNA damage. CARM1 methyltransferase activity was required for induction of some p53 target genes (p21 and Gadd45) but not others (Bax) by DNA damage. Recruitment of BRCA1 to the p53-binding region of the p21 promoter in response to DNA damage required methylation of Arg 754 of p300 by CARM1. Thus, coactivator methylation may be crucial for fine-tuning the tumor suppressor function of BRCA1 and other BRCT domain proteins.

Tumor suppressor BRCA1 epigenetically controls oncogenic microRNA-155.

BRCA1, a well-known tumor suppressor with multiple interacting partners, is predicted to have diverse biological functions. However, so far its only well-established role is in the repair of damaged DNA and cell cycle regulation. In this regard, the etiopathological study of low-penetrant variants of BRCA1 provides an opportunity to uncover its other physiologically important functions. Using this rationale, we studied the R1699Q variant of BRCA1, a potentially moderate-risk variant, and found that it does not impair DNA damage repair but abrogates the repression of microRNA-155 (miR-155), a bona fide oncomir. Mechanistically, we found that BRCA1 epigenetically represses miR-155 expression via its association with HDAC2, which deacetylates histones H2A and H3 on the miR-155 promoter. We show that overexpression of miR-155 accelerates but the knockdown of miR-155 attenuates the growth of tumor cell lines in vivo. Our findings demonstrate a new mode of tumor suppression by BRCA1 and suggest that miR-155 is a potential therapeutic target for BRCA1-deficient tumors.

Antisense RNA to the putative tumor suppressor gene BRCA1 transforms mouse fibroblasts.

Recently, BRCA1, a familial breast and ovarian cancer susceptible gene has been cloned and shown to be either lost or mutated in families with breast and ovarian cancers. BRCA1 has been postulated to encode a tumor suppressor, a protein that acts as a negative regulator of tumor growth. We have characterized the BRCA1 gene products by Western blot and immunoprecipitation analysis in mouse and tumor cells. Multiple BRCA1 polypeptides of approximately 225, 185, 160, 145, 100, 52 and 38 kD were identified in these cells. BRCA1 proteins were found to be localized mainly in the nucleus of normal Rat1 cells and human breast cancer cells. In order to understand the role of BRCA1 in cell transformation, we have established a stable NIH3T3 cell line expressing BRCA1 antisense RNA. The inhibition of expression of endogenous BRCA1 protein was detected in NIH3T3 transfectants by Western blot analysis. The antisense BRCA1 expressing NIH3T3 cells showed accelerated growth rate, anchorage independent growth and tumorigenicity in nude mice unlike the parental and sense transfectants. These results provide the first direct biological evidence for the possible function of BRCA1 as a tumor suppressor gene.

The tumor suppressor gene Brca1 is required for embryonic cellular proliferation in the mouse.

mutations of the BRCA1 gone in humans are associated with predisposition to breast and ovarian cancers. We show here that Brca1+/- mice are normal and fertile and lack tumors by age eleven months. Homozygous Brca1(5-6) mutant mice die before day 7.5 of embryogenesis. Mutant embryos are poorly developed, with no evidence of mesoderm formation. The extraembryonic region is abnormal, but aggregation with wild-type tetraploid embryos does not rescue the lethality. In vivo, mutant embryos do not exhibit increased apoptosis but show reduced cell proliferation accompanied by decreased expression of cyclin E and mdm-2, a regulator of p53 activity. The expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 is dramatically increased in the mutant embryos. Buttressing these in vivo observations is the fact that mutant blastocyst growth is grossly impaired in vitro. Thus, the death of Brca1(5-6) mutant embryos prior to gastrulation may be due to a failure of the proliferative burst required for the development of the different germ layers.

Tumor suppressor gene mutations in mice.

Over the past several years, a number of human tumor suppressor genes have been cloned and characterized. Germline mutations in tumor suppressor genes strongly predispose to cancer, and they are also mutated somatically in sporadic forms of the disease. In order to create animal models for the familial cancer syndromes caused by inherited mutations in these genes as well as to determine their role in embryogenesis, the homologues of several members of this class have been mutated in the mouse. The initial characterization of the heterozygous and homozygous phenotypes caused by these mutations has led to important insights into the mechanisms by which tumor suppressor genes participate in normal development and how their loss contributes to tumorigenesis.

Stable interaction between the products of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes in mitotic and meiotic cells.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for most cases of familial, early onset breast and/or ovarian cancer and encode products that each interact with hRAD51. Results presented here show that BRCA1 and BRCA2 coexist in a biochemical complex and colocalize in subnuclear foci in somatic cells and on the axial elements of developing synaptonemal complexes. Like BRCA1 and RAD51, BRCA2 relocates to PCNA+ replication sites following exposure of S phase cells to hydroxyurea or UV irradiation. Thus, BRCA1 and BRCA2 participate, together, in a pathway(s) associated with the activation of double-strand break repair and/or homologous recombination. Dysfunction of this pathway may be a general phenomenon in the majority of cases of hereditary breast and/or ovarian cancer.

cDNA sequence and chromosomal localization of mouse Dlgh3 gene adjacent to the BRCA1 tumor suppressor locus.

Membrane associated guanylate kinase homologues (MAGUKs) function in tumor suppression and receptor clustering pathways presumably by modulating signaling events at the interface of the membrane cytoskeleton. The p55 subclass of MAGUKs includes two novel cDNAs that were originally identified by virtue of their genomic location to human chromosome 17q12-21 where the BRCA1 tumor suppressor gene has been mapped. The predicted primary structure of the human MPP3 contains a single copy of the PDZ domain, an SH3 motif, and a carboxy-terminal guanylate kinase-like domain. Here we report the full-length coding cDNA sequence of the mouse homologue of MPP3. The translated amino acid sequence of murine Dlgh3 contains 568 amino acids that show 87% sequence identity with the human MPP3 protein. Northern blot analysis shows abundant expression of a approximately 3.0 kb transcript of Dlgh3 in mouse brain and skeletal muscle, and a relatively less abundant approximately 5.0 kb transcript in skeletal muscle, testis, kidney, and lung. Using an interspecific backcross panel, the Dlgh3 gene was mapped to a segment of mouse chromosome 11 that is conserved with human chromosome 17q12-21. The close proximity of murine Dlgh3 gene to the BRCA1 locus and the high conservation of the primary structure of human and murine proteins provide a framework for testing the role of Dlgh3 in cell proliferation pathways using the mouse as a model system.