Journal Article

Telomere deficiencies on chromosomes 9p, 15p, 15q and Xp: potential biomarkers for breast cancer risk

Yun-Ling Zheng, Xin Zhou, Christopher A. Loffredo, Peter G. Shields and Bing Sun

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 378-386
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online October 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddq461
Telomere deficiencies on chromosomes 9p, 15p, 15q and Xp: potential biomarkers for breast cancer risk

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Although telomere dysfunction is a characteristic of breast cancer cells, the relationship between deficiency on individual chromosomal telomeres in normal somatic cells and breast cancer risk has not been characterized. A case–control study was conducted to examine the associations between individual lengths of 92 telomeres in the human genome and the risk of breast cancer in 204 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and 236 healthy controls. Chromosome arm-specific telomere lengths were measured by telomere quantitative fluorescent in situ hybridization. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate the risk associations. This genome-wide screen identified that shorter telomere lengths on chromosomes Xp and 15p were associated with breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women, with adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of 2.5 (95% CI = 1.3, 4.8) and 2.6 (1.3, 5.0), respectively. The study also revealed that greater length differences between homologous telomeres on chromosomes 9p, 15p and 15q were associated with breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women, with aORs of 4.6 (2.3, 9.2), 3.1 (1.6, 6.0) and 2.8 (1.4, 5.4), respectively. When the subjects were categorized into quartiles, a dose–response relationship was observed for all of the above telomeres (P-for-trend ≤ 0.005). This study revealed that telomere deficiencies on chromosomes 9p, 15p, 15q and Xp were associated with breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women. If confirmed in future studies, chromosomal arm-specific telomeres are likely to be a useful panel of blood-based biomarkers for breast cancer risk assessment, given their strong associations with breast cancer risk.

Journal Article.  6118 words. 

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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