Spectrum and frequency of CHEK2 variants in breast cancer affected and general population in the Baltic states region, initial results and literature review

Kristine Pavlovica (Coresponding Author), Arvids Irmejs, Margit Noukas, Marili Palover, Mart Kals, Neeme Tonisson, Andres Metspalu, Jacek Gronwald, Jan Lubinski, Daiga Murmane, Agnese Kalnina, Peteris Loza, Jelena Maksimenko, Genadijs Trofimovics, Signe Subatniece, Zanda Daneberga, Edvins Miklasevics, Janis Gardovskis

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4 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104477
Pages (from-to)104477
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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