Several ovarian cancer susceptibility genes have been discovered, but more are likely to exist. In this study, we aimed to analyze knowledge-based selected genes, that is, BARD1, PRDM9, RCC1, and RECQL, in which pathogenic germline variants have been reported in patients with breast and/or ovarian cancer. As deep sequencing of DNA samples remains costly, targeted next-generation sequencing of DNA pools was utilized to screen the exons of BARD1, PRDM9, RCC1, and RECQL in approximately 400 Polish ovarian cancer cases. A total of 25 pools of 16 samples (including several duplicated samples with known variants) were sequenced on the NovaSeq6000 and analyzed with SureCall (Agilent) application. The set of variants was filtrated to exclude spurious variants, and, subsequently, the identified rare genetic variants were validated using Sanger sequencing. No pathogenic mutation was found within the analyzed cohort of patients with ovarian cancer. Validation genotyping of filtered rare silent and missense variants revealed that the majority of them were true alterations, especially those with a higher mutation quality value. The high concordance (R2 = 0.95) of population allele frequency for 44 common SNPs in the European control population (gnomAD) and our experiment confirmed the reliability of pooled sequencing. Mutations in BARD1, PRDM9, RCC1, and RECQL do not contribute substantially to the risk of ovarian cancer. Pooled DNA sequencing is a cost-effective and reliable method for the initial screening of candidate genes; however, it still requires validation of identified rare variants.

Prevention Relevance:

BARD1, PRDM9, RCC1, and RECQL are not high/moderate-risk ovarian cancer susceptibility genes. Pooled sequencing is a reliable and cost-effective method to detect rare variants in candidate genes.

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