The ataxia telangiectasia mutated gene (ATM), candidate for breast cancer susceptibility gene, encode a 350-kDa protein belongs to the core components of DNA-damage response machinery. Female AT carriers have at least 5-fold increase risk for breast cancer. Reduction in ATM expression is shown in multiple studies in breast tissues. We aimed to perform a research to measure the ATM mRNA expression in peripheral blood cells in breast cancer patients. Peripheral blood sample from 40 newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed female breast cancer patients was collected before surgery. Total RNA was isolated from blood cells using the RNX-Plus solution and reverse transcribed into cDNA. Real-time PCR was performed using the 2(-ΔΔCT) method to calculate relative changes in gene expression by REST software. The Relative Quantitation (RQ) mean was 1.27 with the min. and max. equal to 0.20 and 3.34, respectively. Calculation of patient frequencies in different groups revealed that 17.5% had reduced expression lower than two fold decreases and 15% high expression more than two fold increases, but according to REST software there was no up-regulation or down-regulation compared to normal females. The findings of multiple studies consistent with this study indicate that the ATM gene may play an important role in breast cancer development and progression, and ATM expression is down-regulated in breast cancer tissues. Although, some of the results do not support a suppressor role for ATM in the development of sporadic breast cancer, 17.5% of our patients had under expression of ATM mRNA less than two fold relative to control.
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