Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Progressive telomere shortening characterizes familial breast cancer patients

Date:
July 29, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Telomeres of peripheral blood cells are significantly shorter in patients with familial breast cancer than in the general population. Results of the study carried out by a Human Genetics Group, to be published in open-access journal PLoS Genetics on July 28, reflect that familial, but not sporadic, breast cancer cases are characterized by shorter telomeres. Importantly, they also provide evidence for telomere shortening as a mechanism of the successively earlier onset of cancer down generations.

Telomeres, the complex structures that protect the end of chromosomes, of peripheral blood cells are significantly shorter in patients with familial breast cancer than in the general population. Results of the study carried out by the Human Genetics Group of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), led by Javier Benitez, to be published in open-access journal PLoS Genetics on July 28th, reflect that familial, but not sporadic, breast cancer cases are characterized by shorter telomeres. Importantly, they also provide evidence for telomere shortening as a mechanism of genetic anticipation, the successively earlier onset of cancer down generations.

Mutations in two DNA repair genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, characterize some, but not all, instances of hereditary breast cancer. Non-BRCA1/2 breast cancer families are heterogeneous, suggesting the existence of other genes conferring susceptibility. The group has investigated the role of telomere length in hereditary breast cancer based on previous information suggesting, first, that short telomeres and subsequent genomic instability contribute to malignant transformation; second, that genetic anticipation occurs in breast cancer families and, third, that telomere shortening is associated with anticipation in other genetic diseases.

By analyzing telomere length differences between mothers and daughters from breast cancer families, the authors demonstrated that genetic anticipation is associated with a decrease in telomere length in affected daughters relative to their mothers.

The results allowed the authors not only to conclude that women carrying BRCA1/2 mutation have chromosomes with short telomeres, but also to describe for the first time that genetic anticipation in breast cancer could be explained by telomere shortening. In addition, the study expands the field of research concerning genetic predisposition to breast cancer to include genes involved in telomere maintenance. The significance of generational changes in telomere length has interesting potential clinical applications in the management of familial breast cancer, and could be extended to other hereditary cancer syndromes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Beatriz Martinez-Delgado, Kira Yanowsky, Lucia Inglada-Perez, Samuel Domingo, Miguel Urioste, Ana Osorio, Javier Benitez. Genetic Anticipation Is Associated with Telomere Shortening in Hereditary Breast Cancer. PLoS Genetics, 2011; 7 (7): e1002182 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002182

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Progressive telomere shortening characterizes familial breast cancer patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728220428.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, July 29). Progressive telomere shortening characterizes familial breast cancer patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728220428.htm
Public Library of Science. "Progressive telomere shortening characterizes familial breast cancer patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728220428.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins