Germline DNA Methylation Associated with Breast Cancer Predisposition
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Understanding and explaining hereditary predisposition to cancer has focused on the genetic etiology of the disease. However, mutations in known genes associated with breast cancer such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for less than 25% of familial cases of breast cancer. Heritable epigenetic modifications, in the form of hypermethylated MLH1 promoter alleles, have recently been shown to promote hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. We investigated the potential for an epigenetic basis for hereditary breast cancer by performing deep bisulfite sequencing of CpG islands and known promoter regions in germline DNA from 100 familial or early-onset breast or ovarian cancer patients.
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