MIcroRNA: A Novel Genetic Modifier for Breast Cancer Predisposition

Summary

Principal Investigator: Hua Zhao
Affiliation: Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Country: USA
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the last decade, and the realization of their growing importance in carcinogenesis and cancer prognosis through regulation of transcription of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes (TSGs), has led to an era of excitement of discovery regarding these small molecules. Although it is known that there is widespread misexpression of miRNAs in many cancer tissues, including breast cancer, little is known regarding how inherited variability in miRNA genes and their responsive elements in target genes may predispose to cancer. As a consequence of the particular way in which miRNAs function - by targeting a number of functionally important protein-coding genes, such as oncogenes and TSGs - genetic variations in miRNA genes and their responsive elements in target genes could be important in cancer predisposition. Inherited variability in miRNAs may be extremely relevant for breast cancer, as family history has consistently been regarded as a major risk factor for breast cancer. Germ-line mutations in the currently known high-risk breast cancer genes (such as BRCA1/2, etc) are common in familial breast cancer, but they can explain at best 20-25% of the overall excess familial risk, suggesting the presence of other unidentified predisposition genes, which confer susceptibility to breast cancer. Considerable efforts have been made to discover breast susceptibility genes, however so far few have been identified. The dilemma might be due to the fact that susceptibility alleles reside in protein non-encoding genes, such as miRNAs, or miRNA responsive elements at 3'UTR of the target genes, which are traditionally overlooked in genetic screening. We propose a study by utilizing valuable resource from Cooperative Familial Registry for Breast Cancer Studies (CFRBCS) to screen genetic variants in selected miRNA genes and their responsive elements in target genes in hereditary breast cancer families, to assess the genetic susceptibility of these genetic variants in the development of hereditary and/or sporadic breast cancer, and to functionally characterize these genetic variants. We hypothesize that genetic variations in miRNA genes and their responsive elements in target genes alter various biological processes by influencing the biological functions of miRNAs, and thereby modify genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Because this research is nested within the CFRBCS, the objectives can be addressed in a timely and cost effective manner. This innovative and important area has not been investigated yet. The proposed research will help us to elucidate the biological significance of miRNA in breast cancer, explore the functional significance of these inherited variations, and establish a solid foundation for understanding the role of miRNA in breast cancer predisposition. From a clinical perspective, the long-term application of this information to risk assessment and thus to the prevention and early detection of breast cancer in families as well as population will be significant. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed research will help us to elucidate the biological significance of miRNA in breast cancer, explore the functional significance of these inherited variations, and establish a solid foundation for understanding the role of miRNA in breast cancer predisposition. From a clinical perspective, the long-term application of this information to risk assessment and thus to the prevention and early detection of breast cancer in families as well as population will be significant.
Funding Period: ----------------2009 - ---------------2013-
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Associations between gene expression variations and ovarian cancer risk alleles identified from genome wide association studies
    Hua Zhao
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Controls, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, United States of America
    PLoS ONE 7:e47962. 2012
  2. pmc Genetic variants in microRNAs and breast cancer risk in African American and European American women
    Song Yao
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA
    Breast Cancer Res Treat 141:447-59. 2013
  3. pmc A pilot study of circulating miRNAs as potential biomarkers of early stage breast cancer
    Hua Zhao
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Controls, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, United States of America
    PLoS ONE 5:e13735. 2010
  4. pmc Parity and lactation in relation to estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in African American women
    Julie R Palmer
    Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, 1010 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, USA
    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20:1883-91. 2011
  5. pmc Evaluation of microRNA expression profiles and their associations with risk alleles in lymphoblastoid cell lines of familial ovarian cancer
    Jie Shen
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Controls, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA
    Carcinogenesis 33:604-12. 2012

Scientific Experts

  • Hua Zhao
  • Julie R Palmer
  • Jie Shen
  • Song Yao
  • Christine B Ambrosone
  • Song Liu
  • Dana H Bovbjerg
  • Elisa V Bandera
  • Kelly Graham
  • Prashant Singh
  • Thaer Khoury
  • Gregory Ciupak
  • Michelle Roberts
  • Gary Zirpoli
  • Helena Hwang
  • Karen S Pawlish
  • Lara E Sucheston Campbell
  • Warren Davis
  • Lina Jandorf
  • Li Yan
  • Kunle Odunsi
  • Dan Wang
  • Leonard Medico
  • Shashikant B Lele
  • Steven R Gregory
  • Qiang Hu

Detail Information

Publications5

  1. pmc Associations between gene expression variations and ovarian cancer risk alleles identified from genome wide association studies
    Hua Zhao
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Controls, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, United States of America
    PLoS ONE 7:e47962. 2012
    ..Further characterization of significant associations between mRNAs and risk alleles might facilitate understanding the functions of GWAS discovered risk alleles in the genetic etiology of ovarian cancer...
  2. pmc Genetic variants in microRNAs and breast cancer risk in African American and European American women
    Song Yao
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA
    Breast Cancer Res Treat 141:447-59. 2013
    ..Future studies are needed to validate our findings and to explore the underlying mechanisms. ..
  3. pmc A pilot study of circulating miRNAs as potential biomarkers of early stage breast cancer
    Hua Zhao
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Controls, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, United States of America
    PLoS ONE 5:e13735. 2010
    ..The objective of this pilot study was to discover a panel of circulating miRNAs as potential novel breast cancer biomarkers...
  4. pmc Parity and lactation in relation to estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in African American women
    Julie R Palmer
    Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, 1010 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, USA
    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20:1883-91. 2011
    ..We assessed the relation of parity and lactation to incidence of ER(-)/PR(-) and ER(+)/PR(+) breast cancer in a cohort of African American women...
  5. pmc Evaluation of microRNA expression profiles and their associations with risk alleles in lymphoblastoid cell lines of familial ovarian cancer
    Jie Shen
    Department of Cancer Prevention and Controls, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA
    Carcinogenesis 33:604-12. 2012
    ..Further characterization of significant associations between microRNAs and risk alleles could facilitate the understanding of the functions of these GWAS discovered risk alleles in the genetic etiology of ovarian cancer...