High-resolution Genomic and Expression Analyses of Copy Number Alterations in Breast Tumors

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2008 Jun;47(6):530-42. doi: 10.1002/gcc.20558.


Analysis of recurrent DNA amplification can lead to the identification of cancer driver genes, but this process is often hampered by the low resolution of existing copy number analysis platforms. Fifty-one breast tumors were profiled for copy number alterations (CNAs) with the high-resolution Affymetrix 500K SNP array. These tumors were also expression-profiled and surveyed for mutations in selected genes commonly mutated in breast cancer (TP53, CDKN2A, ERBB2, KRAS, PIK3CA, PTEN). Combined analysis of common CNAs and mutations revealed putative associations between features. Analysis of both the prevalence and amplitude of CNAs defined regions of recurrent alteration. Compared with previous array comparative genomic hybridization studies, our analysis provided boundaries for frequently altered regions that were approximately one-fourth the size, greatly reducing the number of potential alteration-driving genes. Expression data from matched tumor samples were used to further interrogate the functional relevance of genes located in recurrent amplicons. Although our data support the importance of some known driver genes such as ERBB2, refined amplicon boundaries at other locations, such as 8p11-12 and 11q13.5-q14.2, greatly reduce the number of potential driver genes and indicate alternatives to commonly suggested driver genes in some cases. For example, the previously reported recurrent amplification at 17q23.2 is reduced to a 249 kb minimal region containing the putative driver RPS6KB1 as well as the putative oncogenic microRNA mir-21. High-resolution copy number analysis provides refined insight into many breast cancer amplicons and their relationships to gene expression, point mutations and breast cancer subtype classifications. This article contains Supplementary Material available at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/1045-2257/suppmat.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / secondary
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oncogenes


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Proteins