Purpose: To evaluate a transcriptomic approach to identify healthy women at increased risk of breast cancer due to G2-radiosensitivity and look at transcripts that are differentially expressed between individuals. Materials and methods: We perform the first study to assess the association of G2 radiosensitivity with basal gene expression in cultured T-lymphocytes from 11 women with breast cancer and 12 healthy female relatives using Affymetrix GeneChips. Results: Transcripts associated with radiosensitivity and breast cancer risk were predominantly involved in innate immunity and inflammation, such as interleukins and chemokines. Genes differentially expressed in radiosensitive individuals were more similarly expressed in close family members than in un-related individuals, suggesting heritability of the trait. The expression of tumour protein D52 (TPD52), a gene implicated in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and vesicle trafficking was the most strongly correlated with G2 score while nuclear factor (kappa) - B (NFKB1) was highly inversely correlated with G2 score. NFKB1 is known to be activated by irradiation and its inhibition has been previously shown to increase radiosensitivity. Conclusions: Gene expression analysis of lymphocytes may provide a quantitative measure of radiation response potential and is a promising marker of breast cancer susceptibility.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all the patients and family members for their invaluable contribution to this study. We are grateful for the excellent technical assistance of Stuart Pepper and Yvonne Hey of the Cancer Research UK Affymetrix core facility. RBC is supported by Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Campaign. AHS is supported by the Genetic Innovation network and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
- Breast cancer
- G2 assay