, Volume 137, Issue 4, pp 669-675
Date: 16 Jun 2010

Evaluating mitochondrial DNA in patients with breast cancer and benign breast disease

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To evaluate the role of mtDNA in breast cancer.


We carried out an investigation into the mtDNA major control region or D-loop region and an essential and the largest mtDNA protein-coding gene, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5), together with a mitochondrial haplogroup analysis in 64 patients with breast cancer (BC) and 54 patients with benign breast disease (BBD) as controls.


Mutations in D-loop region were found in 10/64 or 15.6% of patients with BC and 14/54 or 25.9% of patients with BBD, while mutations in ND5 were detected in 6/64 or 9.4% of patients with BC and 5/54 or 9.3% of patients with BBD. In addition, in patients with BBD, mtDNA mutations were more likely to rise in D-loop region and the mutations were more likely to be heteroplasmic. However, in patients with BC, those with metastatic feature were less likely to carry mutations in D-loop region. Finally, we found haplogroup M has an increased risk of breast cancer compared with haplogroup N.


mtDNA mutation may play a role in early stage of tumorigenesis, and mitochondrial haplogroup can also modulate breast cancer occurrence.

L. Shen and J. Wei contributed equally to this work.