For 21 putative BRCA1 and BRCA2 splice site variants, the concordance between mRNA analysis and predictions by in silico programs was evaluated. Aberrant splicing was confirmed for 12 alterations. In silico prediction tools were helpful to determine for which variants cDNA analysis is warranted, however, predictions for variants in the Cartegni consensus region but outside the canonical sites, were less reliable. Learning algorithms like Adaboost and Random Forest outperformed the classical tools. Further validations are warranted prior to implementation of these novel tools in clinical settings. Additionally, we report here for the first time activated cryptic donor sites in the large exon 11 of BRCA2 by evaluating the effect at the cDNA level of a novel tandem duplication (5' breakpoint in intron 4; 3' breakpoint in exon 11) and of a variant disrupting the splice donor site of exon 11 (c.6841+1G > C). Additional sites were predicted, but not activated. These sites warrant further research to increase our knowledge on cis and trans acting factors involved in the conservation of correct transcription of this large exon. This may contribute to adequate design of ASOs (antisense oligonucleotides), an emerging therapy to render cancer cells sensitive to PARP inhibitor and platinum therapies.
Keywords: BRCA1/2; alternative splicing; cDNA analysis; in silico prediction tools; learning algorithms.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.