Genetic Changes in the PTEN Gene and their Association with Breast Cancer in Pakistan


The PTEN gene, a candidate tumor suppressor, is one of the more commonly inactivated and extensively studied genes in cancer. However, few data are available about the role of germ line mutations of this gene in sporadic breast cancer cases. The purpose of this study was to determine extent of involvement of this gene in breast cancer in Pakistan. To test the hypothesis that genetic variations of PTEN play a role in the etiology of breast cancer, a population based case-control study was conducted in 350 breast cancer patients along 400 healthy controls. After extracting DNA from blood, the whole coding sequence of PTEN along with intron/exon boundaries was genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism. Sequencing analysis revealed nineteen different types of mutations in different regions of PTEN (in exon 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and splicing sites of intron 2 and 4 and also in the 3’ UTR region), including 3 silent, 8 missense, 2 frame shift and 6 splice site variations. Among the observed variations in this study, three missense mutations have already been reported i.e. 319G>A (Asp106Asn), 389G>A (Arg129Gln) and 482G>A (Arg160Lys) in different populations. The present results suggest that a wide range of germline PTEN mutations may play a role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer.