Mitochondrial DNA content in paired normal and cancerous breast tissue samples from patients with breast cancer

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2009 Aug;135(8):983-9. doi: 10.1007/s00432-008-0533-9. Epub 2009 Jan 6.


Introduction: We develop a multiplex quantitative real-time PCR for synchronized analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA (nDNA) to investigate relative mtDNA abundance in paired normal and cancerous breast tissues.

Materials and methods: The amounts of nDNA and mtDNA in 102 tissue samples were quantified for both glyceraldehype-3-phosphodehydrogenase (GAPDH) gene and mtDNA encoded ATPase (MTATP) 8 gene. The average threshold cycle (Ct) number values of the nDNA and mtDNA were used to calculate relative mtDNA content in breast tissues.

Results: The median delta Ct (DeltaCt) and the median mtDNA content for normal and cancerous breast tissues were 6.73 and 2.54, as well as 106.50 and 5.80 (P = 0.000, respectively). The mtDNA content was decreased in 82% of cancerous breast tissues compared with the normal ones. The changes were associated with hormone receptor status.

Conclusion: Our finding suggests that decreased mtDNA content in breast cancer may have diagnostic and prognostic value for the disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / analysis*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Female
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / genetics
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases