• An original phylogenetic approach identified mitochondrial haplogroup T1a1 as inversely associated with breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers.

      Blein, Sophie; Bardel, Claire; Danjean, Vincent; McGuffog, Lesley; Healey, Sue; Barrowdale, Daniel; Lee, Andrew; Dennis, Joe; Kuchenbaecker, Karoline B; Soucy, Penny; et al. (BioMed Central, 2015)
      Individuals carrying pathogenic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a high lifetime risk of breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are involved in DNA double-strand break repair, DNA alterations that can be caused by exposure to reactive oxygen species, a main source of which are mitochondria. Mitochondrial genome variations affect electron transport chain efficiency and reactive oxygen species production. Individuals with different mitochondrial haplogroups differ in their metabolism and sensitivity to oxidative stress. Variability in mitochondrial genetic background can alter reactive oxygen species production, leading to cancer risk. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that mitochondrial haplogroups modify breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.