Mutations in the BRCA1 gene account for more than 30 percent of hereditary ovarian cancer and carriers of BRCA1 mutations have a 10 percent to 50 percent risk of acquiring ovarian cancer early in their lifetime. Although BRCA1 mutations are rarely found in sporadic or non-hereditary ovarian cancer, loss of BRCA1 expression has been shown in 30 percent to 60 percent of sporadic ovarian cancers, suggesting that BRCA1 and its biological pathway may play key roles in familial ovarian cancer and sporadic ovarian cancer development. In 2003, Dr. Yu found a protein called RP80 that binds to BRCA1. In his project, he plans to study how the RP80 and BRCA1 act in normal tissues to get an understanding of what goes wrong in ovarian cancer.
Xiaochun Yu, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Molecular Medicine and Genetics at the University of Michigan.