Novel genomic rearrangements in the BRCA1 gene detected in Greek breast/ovarian cancer patients

Eur J Cancer. 2007 Jan;43(2):443-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2006.09.021. Epub 2006 Dec 14.


The identification of genomic rearrangements in breast/ovarian cancer families has widened the mutational spectrum of the BRCA1 gene, increasing the number of patients who can benefit from molecular screening. More than 60 different BRCA1 genomic rearrangements with mapped breakpoints have been reported up to date, in all exons of the gene. The proportion of BRCA1 mutations due to genomic rearrangements varies from 8 to 27% in different populations, probably due to both ethnic diversity and the technical approach employed. In order to estimate the contribution of BRCA1 genomic rearrangements to hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (HBOC) predisposition in Greek families, probands from 95 families with breast/ovarian history but negative for point mutations or small insertions/deletions in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, were screened using Quantitative Multiplex PCR of Short Fluorescent Fragments (QMPSF). Two large deletions of 4.2 and 4.4 kb were identified in exons 20 and 24 respectively. Additional screening, using diagnostic primers for the above deletions in exons 20 and 24, performed on another 86 probands from families with breast/ovarian cancer history and 210 cases of sporadic breast/ovarian cancer resulted in the identification of two more large genomic rearrangements. One, identified in a familial case, identical to the previous exon 24 deletion and a second, identified in a case reported as sporadic, 3.2 kb deletion involving exon 20 and reported elsewhere in another Greek patient. Three out of four genomic rearrangements described in this study were detected in patients who had developed both breast and ovarian cancer; thus suggesting a correlation between the specific phenotype and the high probability of detecting inherited rearrangements in BRCA1.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Exons / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genome, Human
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Point Mutation / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Neoplasm


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • RNA, Neoplasm