Background: While BRCA1/2 gene mutational spectrum and clinical features are widely studied, there is limited data on breast cancer-predisposing non-BRCA pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants (PV/LPVs) in the Baltic states region. According to previous studies, CHEK2 is the most frequent moderate-risk breast cancer predisposition gene. The study aimed to analyse the frequency and mutational spectrum of CHEK2 PV/LPVs in the Baltic states region and perform a literature review on the subject. Methods: The study includes two cohorts - population-based Estonian biobank (EstBB) (N-152 349) and breast cancer affected cases from Latvia (N-105). In the cohort from Latvia, CHEK2, BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2 testing with next-generation sequencing (NGS) was carried out in selected breast cancer cases. In the EstBB, the full SNP genotyped dataset Global Screening Array (GSA) (N-152 349) was used to screen CHEK2 PV/LPVs and variants c.319+2T > A (p.(?)), c.444+1G>A (p.(?)), c.433C > T (p.Arg145Trp), c.283C > T (p.Arg95*) in CHEK2 are reported from this dataset. In addition, a subset of the EstBB (N-4776) underwent whole-genome sequencing (WGS, N-2420) and whole-exome sequencing (WES, N-2356) and founder variants c.470T > C (p.Ile157Thr), c.444+1G>A (p.(?)), c.1100delC (p.Thr367Metfs*15) in CHEK2 were reported from this dataset. Moreover, a literature overview was performed on April 1, 2021, using the PubMed search of keywords ‘CHEK2’, ‘breast cancer’, ‘Estonia’, ‘Lithuania’, ‘Latvia’, ‘Poland’, ‘Belarus’ and ‘Russia’. Results: In the breast cancer affected cohort from Latvia 6 CHEK2 variants, classified as PV/LPVs, were observed (6/105; 5.7%), including recurrent ones c.470T > C (p.Ile157Thr) (1.9%) and del5395(ex9-10del; (p.Met304Leufs*16)) (1.9%), as well as single ones – c.1100delC (p.Thr367Metfs*15) (1%) and c.444+1G>A (p.(?)) (1%). From EstBB NGS data (N-4776) CHEK2 variant c.470T > C (p.Ile157Thr) was detected in 8.6% of cases, c.1100delC (p.Thr367Metfs*15) in 0.6% and c.444+1G>A (p.(?)) in 0.2% of cases. In the EstBB full cohort of SNP array data (N-152 349) CHEK2 variant c.444+1G>A (p.(?)) was detected in 0.02% of cases, c.319+2T > A (p.(?)) in 0.09% of cases, c.433C > T (p.Arg145Trp) in 0.02% of cases and c.283C > T (p.Arg95*) in <0.001% of cases. For the literature review altogether, 49 PubMed articles were found, 23 of which were relevant, representing CHEK2 PV/LPVs in the population of interest. Ten publications are from Poland, eight from Russia, three from Latvia and two from Belarus. Conclusions: This study is the first combined report on complete CHEK2 PV/LPVs screening in selected breast cancer affected cases in Latvia and large-scale population screening in Estonia, providing insight into the CHEK2 mutational spectrum in the Baltic states region. The initial results are in line with other studies that CHEK2 PV/LPVs frequency is around 5–6% of selected breast cancer cases. Here we report three CHEK2 PV/LPV - c.319+2T > A (p.(?)), c.433C > T (p.Arg145Trp), c.283C > T (p.Arg95*), that are novel for the Baltic states region. This is also the first report on c.1100delC (p.Thr367Metfs*15) and c.444+1G>A (p.(?)) from the Baltic states. High population frequency of c.470T > C (p. Ile157Thr) (8.6%) continues to question the variant's pathogenicity in particular populations. Other findings are concordant with previous reports from Latvia and neighbouring populations.
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 3.1 Basic medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database