Genetic Variant of p53 Gene May Explain Increased Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maureen E. Murphy, Ph.D. Professor and Program Leader, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs Associate Director for Education and Career Development The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dr. Murphy

Maureen E. Murphy, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Leader, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program
Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs
Associate Director for Education and Career Development
The Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, PA 19104

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Murphy group discovered a coding-region variant of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, called Pro47Ser, that exists in individuals of African descent. In previous studies this group reported that this amino acid change reduces the ability of p53 to function as a tumor suppressor.

In this study, African American women from two different large cohorts were assessed for the incidence of the Pro47Ser variant in pre-menopausal breast cancer. A modest but statistically significant association was found between Pro47Ser and pre-menopausal breast cancer.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: A genetic variant of the p53 gene exists in individuals of African descent that may explain part of the increased cancer risk, as well as part of the poorer response to certain cancer therapies, in this group.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Larger cohorts of individuals in at-risk families and other tumor types should be assessed for an association between Pro47Ser and cancer. In particular, the Pro47Ser mouse model develops liver cancer at a high rate, so human studies focusing on this tumor type should be a priority.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Maureen E. Murphy, Song Liu, Song Yao, Dezheng Huo, Qin Liu, Sonia C. Dolfi, Kim M. Hirshfield, Chi-Chen Hong, Qiang Hu, Andrew F. Olshan, Temidayo O. Ogundiran, Clement Adebamowo, Susan M. Domchek, Katherine L. Nathanson, Barbara Nemesure, Stefan Ambs, William J. Blot, Ye Feng, Esther M. John, Leslie Bernstein, Wei Zheng, Jennifer J. Hu, Regina G. Ziegler, Sarah Nyante, Sue A. Ingles, Michael F. Press, Sandra L. Deming, Jorge L. Rodriguez-Gil, Christopher A. Haiman, Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Kathryn L. Lunetta, Julie R. Palmer, Christine B. Ambrosone. A functionally significant SNP in TP53 and breast cancer risk in African-American women. npj Breast Cancer, 2017; 3 (1) DOI: 1038/s41523-017-0007-9

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