Evaluating the role of CHEK2 p.(Asp438Tyr) allele in inherited breast cancer predisposition

Fam Cancer. 2023 Jan 19. doi: 10.1007/s10689-023-00327-2. Online ahead of print.


CHEK2 is a well-established breast cancer susceptibility gene. The most frequent pathogenic CHEK2 variant is 1100delC, a loss-of-function mutation conferring 2-fold risk for breast cancer. This gene also harbors other rare variants encountered in the clinical gene panels for hereditary cancer. One of these is CHEK2 c.1312 G > T, p.(Asp438Tyr) in the kinase domain of the protein, but due to its rarity its clinical significance for breast cancer predisposition has remained unclear. Here, we tested the prevalence of CHEK2 p.(Asp438Tyr) allele showing enrichment in the Northern Finnish population, in a total of 2284 breast cancer patients from this geographical region. Genotyping was performed for DNA samples extracted from peripheral blood using high-resolution melt analysis. Fourteen CHEK2 p.(Asp438Tyr) carriers were identified (14/2284, 0.6%, P = 0.67): two in the cohort of breast cancer cases with the indication of inherited disease susceptibility (2/281, 0.7%, P = 1.00) and twelve in the breast cancer cohort unselected for the family history of disease and age at disease onset (12/2003, 0.6%, P = 0.66). This frequency did not differ from the frequency in the general population (10/1299, 0.8%). No CHEK2 p.(Asp438Tyr) homozygotes were identified. Our results indicate that CHEK2 p.(Asp438Tyr) carriers do not have an increased risk for breast cancer and the classification of the CHEK2 p.(Asp438Tyr) variant can be changed from the variant of uncertain significance (VUS) to likely benign for breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer; CHEK2; Cohort study; Hereditary predisposition; p.(Asp438Tyr) variant.