[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is known that FGFR2 gene variations confer a risk for breast cancer. FGFR2 and FGF10, the main ligand of FGFR2, are both overexpressed in 5-10% of breast tumors. In our study, we sequenced the most important coding regions of FGFR2 in somatic tumor tissue of 140 sporadic breast cancer patients and performed MLPA analysis to detect copy number variations in FGFR2 and FGF10. We identified one somatic heterozygous missense mutation, p.K660N (c.1980G>C), within the tyrosine kinase domain of FGFR2 in tumor tissue of a sporadic breast cancer patient, which is likely mediated by the FGFR2-IIIb isoform. The presence of wild type and mutated alleles in equal quantities suggests that the mutation has driven clonal amplification of mutant cells. We have analyzed the tyrosine kinase activity of p.K660N and another recently described somatic breast cancer mutation in FGFR2, p.R203C, after expression in HEK293 cells and demonstrated that the intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity of both mutant proteins is strongly increased resulting in elevated phosphorylation and activity of downstream effectors. To our knowledge, this is the first report of functional analysis of somatic breast cancer mutations in FGFR2 providing evidence for the activating nature of FGFR2-mediated signalling in the pathogenesis of breast cancer.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e60264. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between highly similar duplicated sequences generates chromosomal deletions, duplications and inversions, which can cause diverse genetic disorders. Little is known about interindividual variation in NAHR rates and the factors that influence this. We estimated the rate of deletion at the CMT1A-REP NAHR hotspot in sperm DNA from 34 male donors, including 16 monozygotic (MZ) co-twins (8 twin pairs) aged 24 to 67 years old. The average NAHR rate was 3.5×10-5 with a seven-fold variation across individuals. Despite good statistical power to detect even a subtle correlation, we observed no relationship between age of unrelated individuals and the rate of NAHR in their sperm, likely reflecting the meiotic-specific origin of these events. We then estimated the heritability of deletion rate by calculating the intraclass correlation (ICC) within MZ co-twins, revealing a significant correlation between MZ co-twins (ICC = 0.784, p = 0.0039), with MZ co-twins being significantly more correlated than unrelated pairs. We showed that this heritability cannot be explained by variation in PRDM9, a known regulator of NAHR, or variation within the NAHR hotspot itself. We also did not detect any correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI), smoking status or alcohol intake and rate of NAHR. Our results suggest that other, as yet unidentified, genetic or environmental factors play a significant role in the regulation of NAHR and are responsible for the extensive variation in the population for the probability of fathering a child with a genomic disorder resulting from a pathogenic deletion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is robust evidence from epidemiological studies that the offspring of older fathers have an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism. The authors present a novel mechanism that may contribute to this association. Because the male germ cell undergoes many more cell divisions across the reproductive age range, copy errors taking place in the paternal germline are associated with de novo mutations in the offspring of older men. Recently it has been recognized that somatic mutations in male germ cells that modify proliferation through dysregulation of the RAS protein pathway can lead to within-testis expansion of mutant clonal lines. First identified in association with rare disorders related to paternal age (e.g., Apert syndrome, achondroplasia), this process is known as "selfish spermatogonial selection." This mechanism favors propagation of germ cells carrying pathogenic mutations, increasingly skews the mutational profile of sperm as men age, and enriches de novo mutations in the offspring of older fathers that preferentially affect specific cellular signaling pathways. This mechanism not only offers a parsimonious explanation for the association between advanced paternal age and various neurodevelopmental disorders but also provides insights into the genetic architecture (role of de novo mutations), neurobiological correlates (altered cell cycle), and some epidemiological features of these disorders. The authors outline hypotheses to test this model. Given the secular changes for delayed parenthood in most societies, this hypothesis has important public health implications.
American Journal of Psychiatry 05/2013; · 14.72 Impact Factor
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