Microsatellite instability is uncommon in breast cancer

Ramaswamy Anbazhagan, Hiroaki Fujii, Edward Gabrielson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


In some tumors, defects in mismatch repair enzymes lead to errors in the replication of simple nucleotide repeat segments. This condition is commonly known as microsatellite instability (MSI) because of the frequent mutations of microsatellite sequences. Although the MSI phenotype is well recognized in some colon, gastric, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers, reports of MSI in breast cancer are inconsistent. We report here Our experience with >10,000 amplifications of simple nucleotide repeats in noncoding genomic regions using DNA from 267 cases of breast cancer, including cases that represent all major histological types of breast cancer. We rarely (10 reactions) found unexpected bands in amplifications of tumor DNA that were not present in amplifications of normal DNA. Moreover, repeats of these reactions did not confirm microsatellite instability in a single case. We also evaluated the simple nucleotide repeats in the transforming growth factor type II receptor, insulin-like growth factor type II receptor, BAX, and E2F-4 genes, which are frequently mutated in tumors with microsatellite instability. No mutations of these genes were found in any of the 30 breast cancer cell lines and 61 primary breast cancer samples examined. These results indicate that mismatch repair errors characteristic of the MSI phenotype are uncommon in human breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-844
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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