Genes that when mutated greatly increase the susceptibility of heterozygous women to breast cancer. The first gene, BRCA1, resides at 17q21. It was cloned in 1994 and shown to encode a protein containing 1,863 amino acids. BRCA2 resides at 13q12–13. It was cloned in 1995 and is now known to encode a protein containing 3,418 amino acids. Together, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are responsible for most cases of hereditary breast cancer. BRCA1 also increases the risk of ovarian cancer, but BRCA2 does not. The BRCA1 protein contains two zinc finger domains and is therefore believed to function as a transcription factor. See Chronology, 1994, Miki et al.; 1995, Wooster et al.; anti-oncogene, Mendelian Inheritance in Man (MIM), zinc finger protein.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.