Background: Genetic alterations in cellular signaling networks are a hallmark of cancer, however, effective methods to discover them are lacking. A novel form of abnormality called acquired uniparental disomy (aUPD) was recently found to pinpoint the region of mutated genes in various cancers, thereby identifying the region for next-generation sequencing. Methods/Principal Findings: We retrieved large genomic data sets from the Gene Expression Omnibus database to perform genome-wide analysis of aUPD in breast tumor samples and cell lines using approaches that can reliably detect aUPD. Aupd was identified in 52.29% of the tumor samples. The most frequent aUPD regions were located at chromosomes 2q, 3p, 5q, 9p, 9q, 10q, 11q, 13q, 14q and 17q. We evaluated the data for any correlation between the most frequent aUPD regions and HER2/neu, ER, and PR status, and found a statistically significant correlation between the recurrent regions of aUPD and triple negative (TN) breast cancers. aUPD at chromosome 17q (VEZF1, WNT3), 3p (SUMF1, GRM7), 9p (MTAP, NFIB) and 11q (CASP1, CASP4, CASP5) are predictors for TN. The frequency of aUPD was found to be significantly higher in TN breast cancer cases compared to HER2/neu-positive and/or ER or PR-positive cases. Furthermore, using previously published mutation data, we found TP53 homozygously mutated in cell lines having aUPD in that locus. Conclusions/Significance: We conclude that aUPD is a common and non-random molecular feature of breast cancer that is most prominent in triple negative cases. As aUPD regions are different among the main pathological subtypes, specific aUPD regions may aid the sub-classification of breast cancer. In addition, we provide statistical support using TP53 as an example that identifying aUPD regions can be an effective approach in finding aberrant genes. We thus conclude that a genome-wide scale analysis of aUPD regions for homozygous sequence alterations can provide valuable insights into breast tumorigenesis.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL,
Journal PLoS ONE
Tuna, M, Smid, M, Zhu, D, Martens, J.W.M, & Amos, W. (2010). Association between acquired uniparental disomy and homozygous mutations and HER2/ER/PR status in breast cancer. PLoS ONE, 5(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015094