The BRCA1 variant p.Ser36Tyr abrogates BRCA1 protein function and potentially confers a moderate risk of breast cancer

Charita M. Christou, Andreas Hadjisavvas, Maria Kyratzi, Christina Flouri, Ioanna Neophytou, Violetta Anastasiadou, Maria A. Loizidou, Kyriacos Kyriacou

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The identification of variants of unknown clinical significance (VUS) in the BRCA1 gene complicates genetic counselling and causes additional anxiety to carriers. In silico approaches currently used for VUS pathogenicity assessment are predictive and often produce conflicting data. Furthermore, functional assays are either domain or function specific, thus they do not examine the entire spectrum of BRCA1 functions and interpretation of individual assay results can be misleading. PolyPhen algorithm predicted that the BRCA1 p.Ser36Tyr VUS identified in the Cypriot population was damaging, whereas Align-GVGD predicted that it was possibly of no significance. In addition the BRCA1 p.Ser36Tyr variant was found to be associated with increased risk (OR = 3.47, 95% CI 1.13-10.67, P = 0.02) in a single case-control series of 1174 cases and 1109 controls. We describe a cellular system for examining the function of exogenous full-length BRCA1 and for classifying VUS. We achieved strong protein expression of full-length BRCA1 in transiently transfected HEK293T cells. The p.Ser36Tyr VUS exhibited low protein expression similar to the known pathogenic variant p.Cys61Gly. Co-precipitation analysis further demonstrated that it has a reduced ability to interact with BARD1. Further, co-precipitation analysis of nuclear and cytosolic extracts as well as immunofluorescence studies showed that a high proportion of the p.Ser36Tyr variant is withheld in the cytoplasm contrary to wild type protein. In addition the ability of p.Ser36Tyr to co-localize with conjugated ubiquitin foci in the nuclei of Sphase synchronized cells following genotoxic stress with hydroxyurea is impaired at more pronounced levels than that of the p.Cys61Gly pathogenic variant. The p.Ser36Tyr variant demonstrates abrogated function, and based on epidemiological, genetic, and clinical data we conclude that the p.Ser36Tyr variant is probably associated with a moderate breast cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere93400
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2014

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    Christou, C. M., Hadjisavvas, A., Kyratzi, M., Flouri, C., Neophytou, I., Anastasiadou, V., Loizidou, M. A., & Kyriacou, K. (2014). The BRCA1 variant p.Ser36Tyr abrogates BRCA1 protein function and potentially confers a moderate risk of breast cancer. PLoS ONE, 9(4), [e93400]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093400