What to look for in the hunt for BRCA1, Mary-Claire King
Interviewee: Mary-Claire King. Mary-Claire King talks about her first steps toward finding the gene responsible for certain kinds of inherited breast cancer. (DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and medicine > Gene hunting > Mary-Claire King > Starting out)
It's not that we knew exactly where to look we didn't have any idea what genes were responsible. But we should be able to use markers on chromosomes, we should be able to use bits of protein or bits of DNA to flag chromosomal segments. And if we could in a family - in a family with - in which many women had developed breast cancer and some indeed ovarian cancer. If we could show that there were some chromosomal bits that were inherited in common by the women who developed the breast cancer but those same particular ancestral bits were not inherited by the women who had remained breast cancer-free until old age, then we might have a clue that those were the chromosomal regions in which, in principal, there might lie a gene that was responsible for inherited predisposition to breast cancer in this family.
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Mary-Claire King speaks about how much was yet to be understood about the genetic mechanisms of cancer when she began her hunt for genes associated with breast cancer.
Mary-Claire King talks about the value of using the centuries-old tool of family pedigrees to gain insight into patterns of inheritance of genetic disorders.
Mary-Claire King reflects on how knowledge gained from the identification of BRCA1 and BRCA2 could lead to improved cancer treatments.
Mary-Claire King talks about testing for breast cancer.
Mary-Claire King talks about the search for a bit of DNA that would shed light on why some members of a family developed cancer while others did not.
Mark Skolnick talks about the hunt for BRCA1.
BRCA1, on chromosome 17, is one of the genes associated with hereditary breast cancer.
BRCA2, on chromosome 13, is one of the genes associated with hereditary breast cancer
Matt Ridley talks about chromosome 13, BRCA2 gene for breast cancer susceptibility.
Mary-Claire King talks about the tedious process of hunting for genes in the days before genetic maps (based on thousands of markers) were readily available.