BRCA1 16 years later: risk-associated BRCA1 mutations and their functional implications

FEBS J. 2010 Aug;277(15):3086-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2010.07735.x. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


Mutations in the tumor suppressor breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1), an important player in the DNA damage response, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and transcription, confer a significantly elevated lifetime risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Although the loss of wild-type BRCA1 function is an important mechanism by which mutations confer increased cancer risk, multiple studies suggest mutant BRCA1 proteins may confer functions independent of the loss of wild-type BRCA1 through dominant negative inhibition of remaining wild-type BRCA1, or through novel interactions and pathways. These functions impact various cellular processes and have the potential to significantly influence cancer initiation and progression. In this review, we discuss the functional classifications of risk-associated BRCA1 mutations and their molecular, cellular and clinical impact for mutation carriers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA1 Protein / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mutation / physiology*
  • Risk Factors


  • BRCA1 Protein