PDF file, 764K, BRCA2 exon 12 to exon 13 gene, transcript and protein sequences (Supp Fig 1); Enhancer motifs contained within the cryptic exon and the constitutive surrounding exons (Supp Fig 2); Conservation of the cryptic exon across species (Supp Fig 3); Primers used for BRCA1 and BRCA2 routine mRNA analyses (Supp Table 1).
ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: Diagnostic screening of the BRCA1/2 genes in breast cancer families is mostly done on genomic DNA. For families with a very strong family history and no mutation identified in the coding sequences or the exon–intron boundaries, BRCA1/2 transcripts' analysis is an efficient approach to uncover gene inversion and pre-mRNA splicing defaults missed by conventional DNA-based protocols.Experimental Design: We analyzed RNA from patients of negative BRCA families by reverse transcriptase PCR and identified an insertion in one family that we characterized by sequencing and by using a minigene splicing assay. More than 2,000 additional BRCA1/2 negative families were subsequently screened for this mutation using a dedicated PCR approach.Results: Nine families were found to harbor a BRCA2 mutant transcript containing a 95-nucleotide cryptic exon between exons 12 and 13. This cryptic exon results from a new mutation located deep into intron 12, c.6937+594T > G, which reinforces the strength of a preexisting 5′ splice site, turning it into a perfect consensus sequence. It is systematically included in transcripts produced by the mutant allele in cells from mutation carriers or produced by a mutant splicing reporter minigene. The inclusion of the cryptic exon was prevented when we cotransfected the minigene with antisense oligonucleotides complementary to the 3′ or mutated 5′ splice sites.Conclusion: This first deep intronic BRCA mutation emphasizes the importance of analyzing RNA to provide comprehensive BRCA1/2 diagnostic tests and opens the possibility of using antisense therapy in the future as an alternative strategy for cancer prevention. Clin Cancer Res; 18(18); 4903–9. ©2012 AACR.