Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

In BRCA1 and BRCA2 Breast Cancers, Chromosome Breaks Occur near Herpes Tumor Virus Sequences

Version 1 : Received: 18 July 2021 / Approved: 20 July 2021 / Online: 20 July 2021 (09:29:06 CEST)

How to cite: Friedenson, B. In BRCA1 and BRCA2 Breast Cancers, Chromosome Breaks Occur near Herpes Tumor Virus Sequences. Preprints 2021, 2021070430 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0430.v1). Friedenson, B. In BRCA1 and BRCA2 Breast Cancers, Chromosome Breaks Occur near Herpes Tumor Virus Sequences. Preprints 2021, 2021070430 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0430.v1).

Abstract

Inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase risks for breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Both genes encode proteins for accurately repairing chromosome breaks. If mutations inactivate this function, broken chromosomes may not be restored correctly, allowing breaks to persist or rearrange chromosomes. These abnormalities are potentially catastrophic events that can originate from viral infections. I used bioinformatic analyses of publicly available breast cancer patient data to show that the distribution of chromosome breaks in hereditary breast cancers differs markedly from sporadic breast cancers. Then I tested hereditary breast cancer sequence data around chromosome breaks for DNA similarity to all known viruses. Human DNA flanking breakpoints usually had decisive matches to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV / HHV4) tumor variants HKHD40 and HKNPC60. Many breakpoints were near EBV genome anchor sites, human EBV tumor-like sequences, EBV-associated epigenetic marks, and some fragile sites. On chromosomes 2 and 12, sequences near EBV genome anchor sites accounted for 90% and 88% of breakpoints (p<0.0001), respectively. On chromosome 4, 51/52 inter-chromosomal breakpoints were close to EBV-like sequences in 19 hereditary breast cancers. In contrast, 19 sporadic breast cancers only had 12 interchromosomal breakpoint regions on chromosome 4 near EBV-like sequences. On various other chromosomes, five EBV genome anchor sites were near hereditary breast cancer breakpoints at precisely defined, disparate gene or LINE locations. Independent evidence further implicating EBV in hereditary breast cancer breakpoints is that 25 breast cancer break positions are within 1.25% of breakpoints in model EBV cancers. In addition to BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, all the hereditary breast cancers had mutated genes essential for immune responses. This compromise facilitates reactivation of herpes viruses which produce nucleases capable of breaking chromosomes. EBV also causes other deleterious effects: anchored EBV episomes can interfere with normal replication and obstruct DNA break repairs; even very early infection causes massive transcription changes. The results, therefore, imply proactive treatment and prevention of herpes viral infections may prevent some chromosome breaks and benefit BRCA mutation carriers.

Subject Areas

Breast cancer infection; breast cancer immunity; breast cancer virus; nasopharyngeal cancer; EBV cancer; hereditary breast cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2

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