Identification of genes induced by BRCA1 in breast cancer cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Dec 20;299(5):839-46. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(02)02751-1.


Inherited mutations of the BRCA1 gene predispose to breast, ovarian, and other cancers. The role of the BRCA1 gene in the maintenance of chromosomal integrity is linked to a number of biological properties of its protein product, including transcriptional regulation. In the present study, we have used suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH) to identify genes induced by BRCA1 by comparing control MCF7 breast carcinoma cells (driver) with MCF7 cells ectopically expressing BRCA1 (tester) and generated a forward subtracted cDNA library. We screened 500 putative positive clones from this library. Two hundred and ten of these clones were positive by differential screening with forward and reverse subtracted probes and the 65 cDNA clones which showed more than fivefold increase were selected for sequencing analysis. We clustered 46 different genes that share high homology with sequences in the GenBank/EMBL databases. Among these, 30 were genes whose function had been previously identified while the remaining 16 clones were genes with unknown functions. Of particular interest, BRCA1 gene induces the expression of genes encoding DNA repair proteins RAD21 and MSH2, ERBB2/HER2 interacting protein ERBIN, meningioma-associated protein MAC30, and a candidate ovarian tumour-suppressor OVCA1. Northern and Western blot analyses confirmed that the expression of these five genes are up-regulated following BRCA1 overexpression in MCF7 and UBR60-bcl2 cells. This is the first study reporting a set of BRCA1-induced genes in breast carcinoma cells by the SSH technique. We suggest that some known genes identified in this study may provide new insights into the tumour-suppressor function of BRCA1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • BRCA1 Protein / physiology*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Library
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Up-Regulation


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins