Clinical relevance of polymorphic DNA copy number variation (CNV) in African American women with stage I-II breast cancer

James Lee Murray, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objectives. The chief goal of this study was to analyze copy number variation (CNV) in breast cancer tumors from 25 African American women with early stage breast cancer (BC) using molecular inversion probes (MIP) in order to: (1) compare the degree of CNV in tumors compared to normal lymph nodes, and (2) determine whether gains and/or losses of genes in specific chromosomes differ between pathologic subtypes of breast cancer defined by known prognostic markers, (3) determine whether gains/losses in CN are associated with known oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, and (4) determine whether increased gains/losses in CN for specific chromosomes were associated with differences in breast cancer recurrence. Methods. Twenty to 37 nanograms of DNA extracted from 25 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor samples and matched normal lymph nodes were added to individual tubes. Oligonucleotide probes with recognition sequences at each terminus were hybridized with a genomic target sequence to form a circular structure. Probes are released from genomic DNA obtained from FFPE samples, and those which have been correctly "circularized" in the proper allele/nucleotide reaction combination are amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers. Amplicons were fluorescently labeled and the tag sequences released from the genome homology regions by treatment with uracil-N-glycosylase to cleave the probe at the site where uracils are present, and detected using a complementary tag array developed by Affymetrix. Results. Analysis of CN gains and losses from tumors and normal tissues showed marked differences in tumors with numerous chromosomes affected. Similar changes were not observed in normal lymph nodes. When tumors were stratified into four groups based on expression or lack of expression of the estrogen receptor and HER2/neu, distinct patterns of CNV for different chromosomes were observed. Gains or losses in CN for specific chromosomes correlated with amplifications/deletions of particular oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes (i.e. such as found on chromosome 17) known to be associated with aggressive tumor phenotype and poor prognosis. There was a trend for increases in CN observed for chromosome 17 to correlate inversely with time to recurrence of BC (p=0.14 for trend). CNV was also observed for chromosomes 5, 8, 10, 11, and 16, which are known sites for several breast cancer susceptibility alleles. Conclusions. This study is the first to validate the MIP technique, to correlate differences in gene expression with known prognostic tumor markers, and to correlate significant increases/decreases in CN with known tumor markers associated with prognosis. The results of this study may have far reaching public health implications towards identifying new high-risk groups based on genomic differences in CNP, both with respect to prognosis and response to therapy, and to eventually identify new therapeutic targets for prevention and treatment of this disease.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Black studies|Womens studies|Epidemiology|Oncology|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Murray, James Lee, "Clinical relevance of polymorphic DNA copy number variation (CNV) in African American women with stage I-II breast cancer" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454375.