Background: The tumor suppressor BRCA1 plays a pivotal role in maintaining genomic stability and tumor suppression. The BRCA1-A complex is required for recruitment of BRCA1 to DNA damage sites, DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint control. Since germline mutations of BRCA1 often lead to breast tumors that are triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) type, we aimed to investigate whether genetic deficiency in genes of the BRCA1-A complex is associated with risk to TNBC development.
Results: We found that rs7250266 in the promoter region of NBA1 confers a decreased risk to TNBC development, but not to non-TNBC susceptibility. In addition, the haplotypes containing two polymorphisms rs7250266 and rs2278256 are associated with a lower chance of TNBC development specifically. Our studies also showed that the protective alleles of rs7250266 (C > G) and rs2278256 (T > C) down-regulate promoter activity of NBA1 in mammary epithelial cells.
Methods: We investigated associations between the BRCA1-A complex genes and TNBC developing risk in first case-control study of Chinese Han Women population including 414 patients with TNBC and 354 cancer-free controls. We detected 37 common variants in ABRAXAS, RAP80, BRE, BRCC36 and NBA1/MERIT40 genes encoding the BRCA1-A complex and evaluated their genetic susceptibility to the risk of TNBC. An additional cohort with 652 other types of breast cancer (non-TNBC) cases and 890 controls was used to investigate the associations between TNBC-specific SNPs genotype and non-TNBCs susceptibility.
Conclusions: Genetic variants in NBA1 may be an important genetic determinant of TNBC susceptibility. Further investigation and validation of these SNPs in larger cohorts may facilitate in predication and prevention of TNBC and in counseling individuals for risk of TNBC development.
Keywords: BRCA1-A complex; NBA1; cancer susceptibility; polymorphism; triple-negative breast cancer.