Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer

Research Group Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer

Prof. Dr. Ute Hamann

Single Strand Conformational Polymorphism Analysis

Susceptibility to breast cancer (BC) is influenced by rare coding variants in susceptibility genes, notably BRCA1 and BRCA2, and a large number of about 100 common variants across the genome. In contrast to BRCA variants, which confer high lifetime risks of BC, those conferred by common variants are low. However, common variants combined result in high risks. The research group Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer aims at the identification of genetic and non-genetic factors that are associated with overall and subtype-specific BC risk in the general population (1) and genetic modifiers of breast and ovarian cancer risks in BRCA mutation carriers. We have shown that the single nucleotide polymorphism rs7984952 in the USPL1 gene is associated with the risk of poorly differentiated breast tumors (2). As the frequencies of variants differ between populations, we also investigate their role in Asians and Hispanics. Another focus of our research is the search for new biomarkers for BC prognosis and prediction of endocrine treatment outcome. Our findings provide further insight into the mechanisms involved in breast carcinogenesis. The identified common variants are useful for the distinction of women at high and low risk of BC and hence improve targeted early detection and prevention.

Future work will focus on the identification of epigenetic changes that contribute to BC risk and affect the prognosis in the general population and BRCA mutation carriers.


Prof. Dr. Ute Hamann
Molecular Genetics of Breast Cancer (B072)
Tel: +49 6221 42 2344

Selected Publications

  • Kabisch,M., Lorenzo,B.J., Dunnebier,T., Ying,S., et al., and Hamann,U. (2015). Inherited variants in the inner centromere protein (INCENP) gene of the chromosomal passenger complex contribute to the susceptibility of ER-negative breast cancer. Carcinogenesis 36, 256-71.
  • Bermejo,J.L., Kabisch,M., Dunnebier,T., Schnaidt,S., et al., and Hamann,U. (2013). Exploring the association between genetic variation in the SUMO isopeptidase gene USPL1 and breast cancer through integration of data from the population-based GENICA study and external genetic databases. Int. J. Cancer 133, 362-72.
  • 2016-08-25 14:15:42
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