Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Breast cancer contributes to approximately 23% of the cancer cases identified and 14% of cancer related deaths worldwide. Including a strong association between genetic and environmental factors, breast cancer is a complex and multi factorial disorder. Two high penetration breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) have been identified, and germ line mutations in these are thought to account for between 5% and 10% of all breast cancer cases. The human BRCA1 gene, located on 17q, is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation by aiding in DNA repair, transcriptional responses to DNA damage and cell cycle check points. Mutations in this gene enhance cell proliferation and facilitate formation of tumors. Two mutations, the 185 deletion of AG and the 4627 substitution from C to A, are founder mutations in the BRCA1 gene for breast cancer in Asian populations. Allele specific PCR was performed to detect these selected mutations in 120 samples. No mutation of 4627 C to A was detected in the samples and only one of the patients had the 185 del AG mutation in the heterozygous condition. Our collected samples had lower consanguinity and family history indicating the greater involvement of environmental as compared to genetic factors.