Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 489–495 | Cite as

Influence of estrogen and variations at the BRCA1 promoter region on transcription and translation

  • Lívia R. Fernandes
  • Emmerson C. B. Costa
  • Fernando R. Vargas
  • Miguel A. M. MoreiraEmail author


We analyzed wild-type (WT) and four sequence variants of the BRCA1 promoter region—found in patients selected for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome—in respect to their influence on transcription and translation efficiencies in transient transfection assays in the presence or absence of estrogen. Five types of plasmids containing the EGFP reporter gene proceeded by WT 5′UTR-a, WT 5′UTR-b, and the three 5′UTR-b variants were constructed to evaluate their influence on translation. Plasmids containing the firefly luciferase reporter gene were constructed with the WT BRCA1 promoter region (containing promoter α, 5′UTR-a, promoter β, and 5′UTR-b) and with the four promoter variants for evaluating their influence on transcription and translation. All constructs were transfected in MCF7 cells maintained with and without estrogen. Expression of EGFP plasmids with WT 5′UTR-a was six to sevenfold higher than of plasmids with WT 5′UTR-b, expression of WT and the three variant 5′UTR-b plasmids showed slight differences in EGFP expression, and the presence or absence of estrogen result in non-significant changes in expression. Promoter’s constructs that carry the variants WT or g.3988C showed a higher firefly luciferase activity when estrogen is present; conversely, no significant differences were found in the transcription efficiency of the reporter gene indicating that estrogen affect the translation rather than transcription. The presence or absence of estrogen did not affect the activity of firefly luciferase for constructs with the other promoter variants, being the transcription efficiencies equivalent in both conditions.


BRCA1 Hereditary breast cancer BRCA1 promoter Estrogen mRNA translation 



This work was supported by INCT para Controle do Cancer, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq—Brazil (573806/2008-0 and 304847/2011-9), Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro—FAPERJ—Brazil (E-26/170357/2000). We thank Dr. Hector Seuanez for providing a critical review of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lívia R. Fernandes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emmerson C. B. Costa
    • 1
  • Fernando R. Vargas
    • 3
    • 4
  • Miguel A. M. Moreira
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de GenéticaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade de São PauloFaculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Unidade de Genética e Biologia MolecularUniversidade Federal do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Genetics DivisionInstituto Nacional de CâncerRio de JaneiroBrazil

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