Three genetic changes that confer risk of breast cancer in East Asian women are reported in a paper published online this week at Nature Genetics. The results provide new insight into the genetics of breast cancer in an under-studied population.
Most research on breast cancer has focused on samples from women of European ancestry. Qiuyin Cai and colleagues studied a group of over 22,000 East Asian women with breast cancer to locate possible Asian-specific genetic changes that can lead to the disease. They found DNA sequence changes near three genes, ARRDC3, PRC1 and ZC3H11A. Two of the sequence changes were found in parts of the genome that regulate how other nearby genes are expressed.
ARRDC3 and PRC1 mutations were previously linked to breast cancer growth and poor survival in breast cancer patients, respectively. The role of ZC3H11A in breast cancer is unknown.
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