Among chemotherapeutic agents, paclitaxel has shown great efficacy against breast cancer. Prediction of paclitaxel response may improve patient outcomes. Here we show, using exome sequencing, that in comparison with pre-treatment biopsies, two TEKT4 germline variations are enriched in post-treatment tumours. We find TEKT4 variations in ~ 10% of an independent cohort of 84 pairs of samples. Tektin4 (encoded by TEKT4) associates closely with tubulin in doublet microtubules and helps stabilize these structures. These two TEKT4 germline variations in a high cis linkage are biologically relevant, as the ectopic expression of variant TEKT4 deregulates the microtubule stability, antagonizes the paclitaxel-induced stabilizing effect of microtubules and increases paclitaxel resistance. Furthermore, TEKT4 germline variations are associated with reduced disease-free survival and overall survival compared with wild-type TEKT4 in patients undergoing paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. Taken together, we reveal a potential mechanism of resistance to paclitaxel through the acquisition of germline variations in breast cancer.