Purpose: Classification of rare BRCA1 missense variants presents a major challenge for the counseling and treatment of patients. Variant classification can be complicated by conflicting lines of evidence. BRCA1 c.5309G>T p.(Gly1770Val) has been shown to abrogate BRCA1 protein homologous DNA repair; however, multiple sequence alignment demonstrates a lack of sequence conservation at this position, suggesting that glycine at position 1770 may not be essential for cellular maintenance in humans. We analyzed clinical information to resolve the classification of BRCA1 c.5309G>T p.(Gly1770Val).
Methods: We performed multifactorial likelihood analysis combining segregation data for 14 informative families, and breast tumor histopathological data for 17 variant carriers, ascertained through the ENIGMA consortium.
Results: Bayes segregation analysis gave a likelihood ratio of 101:1 in favor of pathogenicity. The vast majority of breast tumors showed features indicative of pathogenic variant carrier status, resulting in a likelihood ratio of 15800794:1 towards pathogenicity. Despite a low prior probability of pathogenicity (0.03) based on bioinformatic prediction, multifactorial likelihood analysis including segregation and histopathology analysis gave a posterior probability of > 0.99 and final classification of Pathogenic.
Conclusions: We provide evidence that BRCA1 c.5309G>T p.(Gly1770Val), previously described as a Moroccan founder variant, should be treated as a disease-causing variant despite a lack of evolutionary conservation at this amino acid position. Additionally, we stress that bioinformatic information should be used in combination with other data, either direct clinical evidence or some form of clinical calibration, to arrive at a final clinical classification.
Keywords: BRCA1; Breast and ovarian cancer; Evolutionary conservation; Multifactorial likelihood analysis; Variant classification.