Concomitant inactivation of p53 and Chk2 in breast cancer

Alexandra Sullivan, Martin Yuille, Claire Repellin, Archana Reddy, Olivier Reelfs, Alexandra Bell, Barbara Dunne, Barry A. Gusterson, Peter Osin, Paul J. Farrell, Isik Yulug, Abigail Evans, Tayfun Ozcelik, Milena Gasco, Tim Crook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure and expression of the human Rad53 homologue Chk2 was analysed in breast cancer. The previously described silent polymorphism at nucleotide 252 in codon 84 (GAA>GAG) was observed in 5/141 cases. Somatic Chk2 coding mutations were detected in 7/141 cases, these occurring in 4/18 BRCA1-associated breast cancers, 1/78 sporadic breast cancers and 2/25 typical medullary carcinomas. Each of the BRCA1-associated cancers with Chk2 mutations also contained mutations in p53, whereas the single sporadic cancer with Chk2 mutation was wild-type for p53. Expression of Chk2 was ubiquitously detected in normal ductal epithelium of the breast, but there was loss of expression in a significant proportion of breast carcinomas, and this occurred in cancers both with and without p53 mutation. A CpG island was identified 5′ of the Chk2 transcriptional start site, but there was no evidence of cytosine methylation in any of the cancers with down-regulated Chk2 expression. Analysis of the germ-fine of 45 individuals with hereditary or early onset breast cancer revealed wild-type Chk2 sequence in all cases. Thus, despite the rarity of somatic mutations in Chk2 in sporadic breast carcinomas, our results nevertheless reveal that concomitant loss of function in Chk2 (via down-regulation of expression) and p53 (via mutation) occurs in a proportion of sporadic cases. However, consistent with other studies, we show that germ-line mutations in Chk2 are unlikely to account for a significant proportion of non BRCA1-, non BRCA2-associated hereditary breast cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1324
Number of pages9
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2002


  • Breast cancer
  • Chk2
  • p53


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