Ovarian carcinomas with genetic and epigenetic BRCA1 loss have distinct molecular abnormalities

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
BMC Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.32). 02/2008; 8(1):17. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-17
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Subclassification of ovarian carcinomas can be used to guide treatment and determine prognosis. Germline and somatic mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and epigenetic events such as promoter hypermethylation can lead to decreased expression of BRCA1/2 in ovarian cancers. The mechanism of BRCA1/2 loss is a potential method of subclassifying high grade serous carcinomas.
A consecutive series of 49 ovarian cancers was assessed for mutations status of BRCA1 and BRCA2, LOH at the BRCA1 and BRCA2 loci, methylation of the BRCA1 promoter, BRCA1, BRCA2, PTEN, and PIK3CA transcript levels, PIK3CA gene copy number, and BRCA1, p21, p53, and WT-1 immunohistochemistry.
Eighteen (37%) of the ovarian carcinomas had germline or somatic BRCA1 mutations, or epigenetic loss of BRCA1. All of these tumours were high-grade serous or undifferentiated type. None of the endometrioid (n = 5), clear cell (n = 4), or low grade serous (n = 2) carcinomas showed loss of BRCA1, whereas 47% of the 38 high-grade serous or undifferentiated carcinomas had loss of BRCA1. It was possible to distinguish high grade serous carcinomas with BRCA1 mutations from those with epigenetic BRCA1 loss: tumours with BRCA1 mutations typically had decreased PTEN mRNA levels while those with epigenetic loss of BRCA1 had copy number gain of PIK3CA. Overexpression of p53 with loss of p21 expression occurred significantly more frequently in high grade serous carcinomas with epigenetic loss of BRCA1, compared to high grade serous tumors without loss of BRCA1.
High grade serous carcinomas can be subclassified into three groups: BRCA1 loss (genetic), BRCA1 loss (epigenetic), and no BRCA1 loss. Tumors in these groups show distinct molecular alterations involving the PI3K/AKT and p53 pathways.

Download full-text


Available from: Steve Kalloger, Jun 18, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BRCA1 is a breast and ovarian tumor suppressor. Given its numerous incompletely understood functions and the possibility that more exist, we performed complementary systematic screens in search of new BRCA1 protein-interacting partners. New BRCA1 functions and/or a better understanding of existing ones were sought. Among the new interacting proteins identified, genetic interactions were detected between BRCA1 and four of the interactors: TONSL, SETX, TCEANC, and TCEA2. Genetic interactions were also detected between BRCA1 and certain interactors of TONSL, including both members of the FACT complex. From these results, a new BRCA1 function in the response to transcription-associated DNA damage was detected. Specifically, new roles for BRCA1 in the restart of transcription after UV damage and in preventing or repairing damage caused by stabilized R loops were identified. These roles are likely carried out together with some of the newly identified interactors. This new function may be important in BRCA1 tumor suppression, since the expression of several interactors, including some of the above-noted transcription proteins, is repeatedly aberrant in both breast and ovarian cancers.
    Genes & Development 09/2014; 28(17):1957-75. DOI:10.1101/gad.241620.114 · 12.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Mutations in BRCA1/2 genes are involved in the pathogenesis of breast and ovarian cancer. Inactivation of these genes can also be mediated by hypermethylation of CpGs in the promoter regions. Aim of this study was to analyse the clinical impact of BRCA1 promoter gene methylation status in a homogenous cohort of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) patients. Methods: The cohort included 257 primary HGSOC patients treated by cytoreduction and platinum-based chemotherapy. DNA was extracted from fresh frozen tissue samples. BRCA1 gene promoter methylation rate was assessed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: 14.8% of patients presented hypermethylation within a selected region of the BRCA1 promoter. The rate of hypermethylation was significantly higher in younger patients (20.8% hypermethylation in the age group <= 58 years versus 8.7% hypermethylation in the age group >58 years; p = 0.008). Optimal tumour debulking could be reached in 63% of patients, without significant differences in the extent of residual disease with respect to the methylation status. No impact of BRCA1 gene promoter methylation status on progression free- and overall-survival rates was found. No significant differences within BRCA1 promoter methylation status between primary and metastatic tissue could be observed. These results on BRCA1 promoter methylation status were also confirmed in a subgroup of 107 patients found negative for BRCA1 exon 11 mutations. Conclusions: Our data suggest that BRCA1 methylation determines the earlier onset of HGSOC. Furthermore our study supports the idea that BRCAness is not only due to mutations but also to epigenetic changes in BRCA1 promoter gene.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 05/2014; 50(12). DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.05.001 · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although controversial, recent studies suggest that serous ovarian carcinomas may arise from fallopian tube fimbria rather than ovarian surface epithelium. We developed an in vitro model for serous carcinogenesis in which primary human fallopian tube epithelial cells (FTECs) were exposed to potentially oncogenic molecular alterations delivered by retroviral vectors. To more closely mirror in vivo conditions, transformation of FTECs was driven by the positive selection of growth-promoting alterations rather antibiotic selection. Injection of the transformed FTEC lines in SCID mice resulted in xenografts with histologic and immunohistochemical features indistinguishable from poorly differentiated serous carcinomas. Transcriptional profiling revealed high similarity among the transformed and control FTEC lines and patient-derived serous ovarian carcinoma cells and was used to define a malignancy-related transcriptional signature. Oncogene-treated FTEC lines were serially analyzed using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunoblot analysis to identify oncogenes whose expression was subject to positive selection. The combination of p53 and Rb inactivation (mediated by SV40 T antigen), hTERT expression, and oncogenic C-MYC and HRAS accumulation showed positive selection during transformation. Knockdown of each of these selected components resulted in significant growth inhibition of the transformed cell lines that correlated with p27 accumulation. The combination of SV40 T antigen and hTERT expression resulted in immortalized cells that were nontumorigenic in mice, whereas forced expression of a dominant-negative p53 isoform (p53DD) and hTERT resulted in senescence. Thus, our investigation supports the tubal origin of serous carcinoma and provides a dynamic model for studying early molecular alterations in serous carcinogenesis.
    Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 10/2011; 13(10):899-911. DOI:10.1593/neo.11138 · 5.40 Impact Factor