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1.  Genetic Polymorphisms of TERT and CLPTM1L and Risk of Lung Cancer – a Case- Control Study in a Chinese Population 
Genetic variants of Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and cleft lip and palate trans-membrane 1 like (CLPTM1L) genes in chromosome 5p15.33 region were previously identified to influence the susceptibility to lung cancer. We examined the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TERT and CLPTM1L genes with lung cancer and explored their potential modifying effects on the relationship between environmental risk factors and lung cancer in a Chinese population.
We genotyped rs2736100 (TERT) and rs401681 (CLPTM1L) SNPs in a case-control study with 399 lung cancer cases and 466 controls form Taiyuan, China. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression models. Potential confounders were controlled for in the adjusted models.
We found that the GG genotype of TERT was positively associated with lung cancer (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.00 – 2.16). The association was stronger in participants older than 60 years, exposed to low indoor air pollution and adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in recessive model analysis. The GA genotype of CLPTM1L was inversely associated with lung cancer (OR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.54 – 0.97). The association was stronger in participants 60 years old or younger, males, heavy smokers, exposed to low indoor air pollution and SCC in dominant model analysis. Individuals carrying both TERT and CLPTM1L risk genotypes had higher risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.15 – 2.82). Significant interaction was observed between CLPTM1L and indoor air pollution in association with lung cancer.
Our results reiterate that genetic variants of TERT and CLPTM1L contribute to lung cancer susceptibility in Chinese population. These associations need to be verified in larger and different populations.
PMCID: PMC3627395  PMID: 23433592
Lung cancer; TERT; CLPTM1L; SNPs; Susceptibility; Chinese population
2.  CLPTM1L Genetic Polymorphisms and Interaction With Smoking and Alcohol Drinking in Lung Cancer Risk 
Medicine  2014;93(28):e289.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text
Genetic variants of cleft lip and palate trans-membrane 1-like (CLPTM1L) genes in the p15.33 region of chromosome 5 were previously identified to influence susceptibility to lung cancer. We examined the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CLPTM1L genes with lung cancer and explored their potential effects on the relationship between environmental risk factors (smoking, drinking) and lung cancer in a Chinese Han population.
We genotyped 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of CLPTM1L in a case–control study with 228 lung cancer cases and 301 controls from northwest China. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by unconditional logistic regression.
We identified that the minor alleles of rs451360, rs402710, and rs31484 in CLPTM1L were associated with a 0.52-fold, 0.76-fold, and 0.70-fold decreased risk of lung cancer in allelic model analysis, respectively. In the genetic model analysis, we found rs402710 and rs401681 were associated with decreased lung cancer risk. Further stratification analysis showed that rs380286 displayed a significantly decreased lung cancer risk (OR = 0.65, P = 0.041) in the non-drinkers. In addition, Haplotype “GTTATCTGT” was found to be associated with decreased lung cancer risk (OR = 0.50, P = 0.033).
Our results verified that genetic variants of CLPTM1L contribute to lung cancer susceptibility in the northwest Chinese Han population. Additionally, we found that consumption of alcohol may interact with CLPTM1L polymorphisms to contribute to overall lung cancer susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC4603120  PMID: 25526467
3.  The identification of two regulatory ESCC susceptibility genetic variants in the TERT-CLPTM1L loci 
Oncotarget  2015;7(5):5495-5506.
The chromosome 5p15.33 TERT-CLPTM1L region has been identified by genome-wide association studies as a susceptibility locus of multiple malignancies. However, the involvement of this locus in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) development is still largely unclear. We fine-mapped the TERT-CLPTM1L region through genotyping 15 haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) using a two stage case-control strategy. After analyzing 2098 ESCC patients and frequency-matched 2150 unaffected controls, we found that rs2853691, rs2736100 and rs451360 genetic polymorphisms are significantly associated with ESCC risk in Chinese (all P<0.05). Reporter gene assays indicated that the ESCC susceptibility SNP rs2736100 locating in a potential TERT intronic promoter has a genotype-specific effect on TERT expression. Similarly, the CLPTM1L rs451360 SNP also showed allelic impacts on gene expression. After measuring TERT and CLPTM1L expression in sixty-six pairs of esophageal cancer and normal tissues, we observed that the rs2736100 G risk allele carriers showed elevated oncogene TERT expression. Also, subjects with the rs451360 protective T allele had much lower oncogene CLPTM1L expression than those with G allele in tissue specimens. Results of these analyses underline the complexity of genetic regulation of telomere biology and further support the important role of telomerase in carcinogenesis. Our data also support the involvement of CLPTM1L in ESCC susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC4868701  PMID: 26716642
TERT; CLPTM1L; polymorphism; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; susceptibility
4.  Genetic variations in TERT–CLPTM1L genes and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck 
Carcinogenesis  2010;31(11):1977-1981.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TERT-rs2736098 (C > T) and CLPTM1L-rs401681(C > T) at the 5p15.33 locus are significantly associated with cancer risk as reported in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but there are no reported studies for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). In a case–control study of 1079 SCCHN cases and 1115 cancer-free controls of non-Hispanic whites who were frequency matched by age and sex, we genotyped for these two SNPs and assessed their associations with SCCHN risk. Compared with the CC genotypes of each polymorphism, the associations of a slightly reduced risk of SCCHN with the variant genotypes of CT + TT of both polymorphisms were approaching statistical significance [Odds ratio (OR) = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.76–1.08 for TERT-rs2736098 and OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.71–1.04 for CLPTM1L-rs401681, respectively]. When the two SNPs were combined, the variant genotypes of the two SNPs were significantly associated a moderately reduced risk of SCCHN (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.67–0.99), and the number of variant genotypes was associated with a significantly reduced risk in a dose–response manner (P = 0.028). Furthermore, the reduced risk was more pronounced in ever smokers, ever drinkers and patients with oropharyngeal cancer. Our results suggested that these two SNPs at the 5p15.33 locus may be associated with a reduced risk of SCCHN, particularly for their combined effect. Although we added additional evidence for the association of the two SNPs with cancer risk as reported in GWAS, additional studies are needed to replicate our findings.
PMCID: PMC2966556  PMID: 20802237
5.  The 5p15.33 Locus Is Associated with Risk of Lung Adenocarcinoma in Never-Smoking Females in Asia 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(8):e1001051.
Genome-wide association studies of lung cancer reported in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5p15.33, 6p21.33, and 15q25 that have achieved genome-wide significance with p-values of 10−7 or lower. These studies have been performed primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the observed associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a genome-wide association study of lung adenocarcinoma in never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) among Han Chinese in Taiwan and found that the most significant association was for rs2736100 on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 1.30×10−11). This finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls (p = 5.38×10−11). A pooled analysis achieved genome-wide significance for rs2736100. This SNP marker localizes to the CLPTM1L-TERT locus on chromosome 5p15.33 (p = 2.60×10−20, allelic risk = 1.54, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.41–1.68). Risks for heterozygote and homozygote carriers of the minor allele were 1.62 (95% CI; 1.40–1.87), and 2.35 (95% CI: 1.95–2.83), respectively. In summary, our results show that genetic variation in the CLPTM1L-TERT locus of chromosome 5p15.33 is directly associated with the risk of lung cancer, most notably adenocarcinoma.
Author Summary
Worldwide, approximately 15% of lung cancer cases occur among nonsmokers. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of lung cancer conducted in populations of European background have identified three regions on chromosomes 5, 6, and 15 that harbor genetic variants that confer risk for lung cancer. Prior studies were conducted primarily in cigarette smokers, raising the possibility that the associations could be related to tobacco use, lung carcinogenesis, or both. A GWAS of lung cancer among never-smokers is an optimal setting to discover effects that are independent of smoking. Since most women in Asia do not smoke, we conducted a GWAS of lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking females (584 cases, 585 controls) in Taiwan, and observed a region on chromosome 5 significantly associated with risk for lung cancer in never-smoking women. The finding was independently replicated in seven studies from East Asia totaling 1,164 lung adenocarcinomas and 1,736 controls. To our knowledge, this study is the first reported GWAS of lung cancer in East Asian women, and together with the replication studies represents the largest genetic association study in this population. The findings provide insight into the genetic contribution of common variants to lung carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2916850  PMID: 20700438
6.  Cumulative Effect of Multiple Loci on Genetic Susceptibility to Familial Lung Cancer 
Genetic factors play important roles in lung cancer susceptibility. In this study, we replicated the association of 5p15.33 and 6p21.33 with familial lung cancer. Taking into account the previously identified genetic susceptibility variants on 6q23-25/RGS17 and 15q24-25.1, we further determined the cumulative association of these four genetic regions and the population attributable risk percent of familial lung cancer they account for.
One hundred ninety-four case patients and 219 cancer-free control subjects from the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium were used for the association analysis. Each familial case was chosen from one high-risk lung cancer family that has three or more affected members. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on chromosomal regions 5p15.33, 6p21.33, 6q23-25/RGS17, and 15q24-25.1 were assessed for their associations with familial lung cancer. The cumulative association of the four chromosomal regions with familial lung cancer was evaluated with the use of a linear logistic model. Population attributable risk percent was calculated for each SNP using risk ratio.
SNP rs31489 showed the strongest evidence of familial lung cancer association on 5p15.33 (P = 2 × 10−4; odds ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.42-0.77), whereas rs3117582 showed a weak association on 6p21.33 (P = 0.09; odds ratio, 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.94-2.31). Analysis of a combination of SNPs from the four regions provided a stronger cumulative association with familial lung cancer (P = 6.70 × 10−6) than any individual SNPs. The risk of lung cancer was increased to 3- to 11-fold among those subjects who had at least one copy of risk allele at each region compared with subjects without any of the risk factors. These four genetic regions contribute to a total of 34.6% of familial lung cancer in smokers.
The SNPs in four chromosomal regions have a cumulative and significant association with familial lung cancer and account for about one-third of the population attributable risk for familial lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC2846747  PMID: 20142248
7.  Genetic Variant rs401681 at 5p15.33 Modifies Susceptibility to Lung Cancer but Not Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e84277.
The human 5p15.33 locus contains two well-known genes, the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and cleft lip and palate transmembrane 1-like (CLPTM1L) genes, which have been implicated in carcinogenesis. A common sequence variant, rs401681, located in an intronic region of CLPTM1L, has been reported to be associated with lung cancer risk based on genome-wide association study. However, subsequent replication studies in diverse populations have yielded inconsistent results. In addition, genetic variants at 5p15.33, including rs401681, have been shown to be involved in the susceptibility to multiple malignancies. Nevertheless, the role of these TERT-CLPTM1L variants in the etiology of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains unknown.
We genotyped the rs401681 polymorphism using TaqMan methodology and analyzed its association with the risk of lung cancer and ESCC in a case–control study of 1,479 cancer patients (726 with lung cancer and 753 with ESCC) and 860 healthy individuals.
Logistic regression analyses revealed that rs401681 T genotypes were associated with a significantly decreased risk of lung cancer (CT vs. CC: adjusted OR = 0.782, 95% CI = 0.625–0.978, P = 0.031; CT/TT vs. CC: adjusted OR = 0.786; 95% CI = 0.635–0.972, P = 0.026). Stratification analysis by histology type indicated that rs401681 T genotypes were associated with a significantly reduced risk of both adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Furthermore, no significant association was observed between rs401681 and the risk of ESCC (CT vs. CC: adjusted OR = 0.910, 95% CI = 0.734–1.129, P = 0.392; TT vs. CC: adjusted OR = 0.897, 95%CI = 0.624–1.290, P = 0.558; CT/TT vs. CC: adjusted OR = 0.908, 95% CI = 0.740–1.114, P = 0.355).
Our findings provide further evidence supporting rs401681 as a genetic variant associated with the risk of lung cancer. In addition, we investigated the correlation between the rs401681 variant and the risk of ESCC in a Han Chinese population, and our results suggest that this genetic variant may not be involved in ESCC risk.
PMCID: PMC3875515  PMID: 24386361
8.  A genome-wide association study identifies pancreatic cancer susceptibility loci on chromosomes 13q22.1, 1q32.1 and 5p15.33 
Petersen, Gloria M. | Amundadottir, Laufey | Fuchs, Charles S. | Kraft, Peter | Stolzenberg-Solomon, Rachael Z. | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Arslan, Alan A. | Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. Bas | Gallinger, Steven | Gross, Myron | Helzlsouer, Kathy | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Jacobs, Eric J. | Klein, Alison P. | LaCroix, Andrea | Li, Donghui | Mandelson, Margaret T. | Olson, Sara H. | Risch, Harvey A. | Zheng, Wei | Albanes, Demetrius | Bamlet, William R. | Berg, Christine D. | Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine | Buring, Julie E. | Bracci, Paige M. | Canzian, Federico | Clipp, Sandra | Cotterchio, Michelle | de Andrade, Mariza | Duell, Eric J. | Gaziano, J. Michael | Giovannucci, Edward L. | Goggins, Michael | Hallmans, Göran | Hankinson, Susan E. | Hassan, Manal | Howard, Barbara | Hunter, David J. | Hutchinson, Amy | Jenab, Mazda | Kaaks, Rudolf | Kooperberg, Charles | Krogh, Vittorio | Kurtz, Robert C. | Lynch, Shannon M. | McWilliams, Robert R. | Mendelsohn, Julie B. | Michaud, Dominique S. | Parikh, Hemang | Patel, Alpa V. | Peeters, Petra H.M. | Rajkovic, Aleksandar | Riboli, Elio | Rodriguez, Laudina | Seminara, Daniela | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Thomas, Gilles | Tjønneland, Anne | Tobias, Geoffrey S. | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Van Den Eeden, Stephen K. | Virtamo, Jarmo | Wactawski-Wende, Jean | Wang, Zhaoming | Wolpin, Brian M. | Yu, Herbert | Yu, Kai | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Hoover, Robert N. | Hartge, Patricia | Chanock, Stephen J.
Nature genetics  2010;42(3):224-228.
We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of pancreatic cancer in 3,851 cases and 3,934 controls drawn from twelve prospective cohort studies and eight case-control studies. Based on a logistic regression model for genotype trend effect that was adjusted for study, age, sex, self-described ancestry and five principal components, we identified eight SNPs that map to three loci on chromosomes 13q22.1, 1q32.1 and 5p15.33. Two correlated SNPs, rs9543325 (P=3.27×10−11; per allele odds ratio, OR 1.26, 95% CI=1.18-1.35) and rs9564966 (P=5.86×10−8; per allele OR 1.21, 95% CI=1.13-1.30) map to a non-genic region on chromosome 13q22.1. Five SNPs on 1q32.1 map to NR5A2; the strongest signal was rs3790844 (P=2.45×10−10; per allele OR 0.77, 95% CI=0.71-0.84). A single SNP, rs401681 (P=3.66×10−7; per allele OR 1.19, 95% CI=1.11-1.27) maps to the CLPTM1L-TERT locus on 5p15.33, associated with multiple cancers. Our study has identified common susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer that warrant follow-up studies.
PMCID: PMC2853179  PMID: 20101243
9.  Fine-mapping of the 5p15.33, 6p22.1-p21.31 and 15q25.1 regions identifies functional and histology-specific lung cancer susceptibility loci in African-Americans 
Genome-wide association studies of European and East Asian populations have identified lung cancer susceptibility loci on chromosomes 5p15.33, 6p22.1-p21.31 and 15q25.1. We investigated whether these regions contain lung cancer susceptibly loci in African-Americans refined previous association signals by utilizing the reduced linkage disequilibrium observed in African-Americans.
1308 African-American cases and 1241 African-American controls from three centers were genotyped for 760 single nucleotide polymorphisms spanning three regions, and additional SNP imputation was performed. Associations between polymorphisms and lung cancer risk were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by tumor histology where appropriate.
The strongest associations were observed on 15q25.1 in/near CHRNA5, including a missense substitution (rs16969968: OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.25–1.97, P = 1.1 × 10−4) and variants in the 5′-UTR. Associations on 6p22.1-p21.31 were histology-specific and included a missense variant in BAT2 associated with squamous-cell carcinoma (rs2736158: OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.48–0.85, P = 1.82 × 10−3). Associations on 5p15.33 were detected near TERT, the strongest of which was rs2735940 (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.73–0.93, P = 1.1 × 10−3). This association was stronger among cases with adenocarcinoma (OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.65–0.86, P = 8.1 × 10−5).
Polymorphisms in 5p15.33, 6p22.1-p21.31 and 15q25.1 are associated with lung cancer in African-Americans. Variants on 5p15.33 are stronger risk factors for adenocarcinoma and variants on 6p21.33 associated only with squamous-cell carcinoma.
Results implicate the BAT2, TERT and CHRNA5 genes in the pathogenesis of specific lung cancer histologies.
PMCID: PMC3565099  PMID: 23221128
Lung cancer; adenocarcinoma; squamous-cell carcinoma; fine-mapping; African-American; genetic association
10.  Lung cancer risk prediction using common SNPs located in GWAS-identified susceptibility regions 
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently identified specific lung cancer susceptibility regions. We evaluated the lung cancer predictive performance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these regions.
Lung cancer cases (N=778) and controls (N=1166) were genotyped for 77 SNPs located in GWAS-identified lung cancer susceptibility regions. Variable selection and model development used stepwise logistic regression and decision-tree analysis. In a subset nested in the Pittsburgh Lung Screening Study, change in area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) and net reclassification improvement (NRI) were used to compare predictions made by risk factor models with and without genetic variables.
Variable selection and model development kept two SNPs in each of three GWAS regions, rs2736100 and rs7727912 in 5p15.33, rs805297 and rs1802127 in 6p21.33, and rs8034191 and rs12440014 in 15q25.1. The ratio of cases to controls was three times higher among subjects with a high-risk genotype in every one as opposed to none of the three GWAS regions (odds ratio 3.14, 95% confidence interval 2.02-4.88, adjusted for sex, age and pack-years). Adding a three-level classified count of GWAS regions with high-risk genotypes to an age and smoking risk factor-only model improved lung cancer prediction by a small amount: AUC 0.725 vs. 0.717 (P=0.056); NRIoverall was 0.052 across low, intermediate, and high 6-year lung cancer risk categories (<3.0%, 3.0% to 4.9%, ≥5.0%).
Specifying genotypes for SNPs in three GWAS-identified susceptibility regions improved lung cancer prediction, but probably by an extent too small to affect disease control practice.
PMCID: PMC4636453  PMID: 26352532
lung cancer; single nucleotide polymorphism; risk prediction
11.  Characterization of population-based variation and putative functional elements for the multiple-cancer susceptibility loci at 5p15.33 
F1000Research  2014;3:231.
TERT encodes the telomerase reverse transcriptase, which is responsible for maintaining telomere ends by addition of (TTAGGG) n nucleotide repeats at the telomere.  Recent genome-wide association studies have found common genetic variants at the TERT-CLPTM1L locus (5p15.33) associated with an increased risk of several cancers. 
Data were acquired for 1627 variants in 1092 unrelated individuals from 14 populations within the 1000 Genomes Project.  We assessed the population genetics of the 5p15.33 region, including recombination hotspots, diversity, heterozygosity, differentiation among populations, and potential functional impacts. There were significantly lower polymorphism rates, divergence, and heterozygosity for the coding variants, particularly for non-synonymous sites, compared with non-coding and silent changes. Many of the cancer-associated SNPs had differing genotype frequencies among ancestral groups and were associated with potential regulatory changes. 
Surrogate SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with the majority of cancer-associated SNPs were functional variants with a likely role in regulation of TERT and/or CLPTM1L.  Our findings highlight several SNPs that future studies should prioritize for evaluation of functional consequences.
PMCID: PMC4654438  PMID: 26664699
TERT, CLPTM1L, population genetics, 5p15.33
12.  A Common Cancer Risk-Associated Allele in the hTERT Locus Encodes a Dominant Negative Inhibitor of Telomerase 
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(6):e1005286.
The TERT-CLPTM1L region of chromosome 5p15.33 is a multi-cancer susceptibility locus that encodes the reverse transcriptase subunit, hTERT, of the telomerase enzyme. Numerous cancer-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including rs10069690, have been identified within the hTERT gene. The minor allele (A) at rs10069690 creates an additional splice donor site in intron 4 of hTERT, and is associated with an elevated risk of multiple cancers including breast and ovarian carcinomas. We previously demonstrated that the presence of this allele resulted in co-production of full length (FL)-hTERT and an alternatively spliced, INS1b, transcript. INS1b does not encode the reverse transcriptase domain required for telomerase enzyme activity, but we show here that INS1b protein retains its ability to bind to the telomerase RNA subunit, hTR. We also show that INS1b expression results in decreased telomerase activity, telomere shortening, and an increased telomere-specific DNA damage response (DDR). We employed antisense oligonucleotides to manipulate endogenous transcript expression in favor of INS1b, which resulted in a decrease in telomerase activity. These data provide the first detailed mechanistic insights into a cancer risk-associated SNP in the hTERT locus, which causes cell type-specific expression of INS1b transcript from the presence of an additional alternative splice site created in intron 4 by the risk allele. We predict that INS1b expression levels cause subtle inadequacies in telomerase-mediated telomere maintenance, resulting in an increased risk of genetic instability and therefore of tumorigenesis.
Author Summary
Multiple cancer-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with risk of a wide variety of cancers have been identified in the TERT-CLPTM1L region of 5p15.33, identifying this as a multi-cancer susceptibility locus. hTERT encodes the catalytic subunit of the enzyme telomerase, which is responsible for telomere length maintenance in the germline and in most immortalised cancer cells. To date, very little is known regarding the mechanisms by which specific hTERT SNPs predispose to cancer. In this study, we carried out detailed functional analyses on the intron 4 SNP rs10069690, which is associated with a small, but highly significant risk for many types of cancer. We show that the risk-associated minor allele of this SNP results in an hTERT mRNA splice variant, encoding a catalytically inactive protein which acts as a dominant negative inhibitor of telomerase activity and therefore decreases total telomerase activity. We propose that individuals who carry the rs10069690 minor allele have less telomerase activity in some cell types due to cell type-specific alternative splicing, which may result in slightly shorter telomeres, and hence an increased risk of genetic instability and tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4459975  PMID: 26053551
13.  TERT’s role in colorectal carcinogenesis 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2012;52(7):507-513.
Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is one of the main functional subunits of the telomerase enzyme, which functions to increase telomere length. Studies have suggested that TERT may be important to the etiology of colorectal cancer. In this study we evaluate seven TERT SNPs in 1555 incident colon cancer cases and 1956 matched controls and in 754 incident rectal cancer cases and 959 matched controls. We observed that two TERT SNPs were associated with colon cancer. TERT rs2736118 was associated with increased risk of colon cancer (OR =1.31, 95% CI 1.02,1.69) and TERT-CLPTM1L rs2853668 was inversely associated with colon cancer (OR = 0.71, 95% CI 0.55,0.92). TERT-CLPTM1L rs2853668 also was inversely associated with rectal cancer (OR 0.62 95% CI 0.43,0.90). BMI interacted significantly with three TERT SNPs to alter risk of colon cancer. Those with the variant allele and who were obese had the greatest risk of colon cancer. TERT-CLPTM1L rs2853668 interacted significantly with aspirin/NSAID use, where those with the AA genotype had a much lower risk of colon cancer when using aspirin/NSAIDs than those with the other genotypes. Several TERT SNPs were uniquely associated with CIMP+ and MSI tumors. These data confirm earlier reports of the association between TERT-CLPTM1L and colon and rectal cancer. Our detection of a significant interaction with BMI for multiple TERT SNPs and unique associations with CIMP+ tumors enhance our understanding of TERT’s role in colon carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3426620  PMID: 22351525
Colon Cancer; Rectal Cancer; TERT; CIMP+; BMI
14.  Imputation and subset-based association analysis across different cancer types identifies multiple independent risk loci in the TERT-CLPTM1L region on chromosome 5p15.33 
Wang, Zhaoming | Zhu, Bin | Zhang, Mingfeng | Parikh, Hemang | Jia, Jinping | Chung, Charles C. | Sampson, Joshua N. | Hoskins, Jason W. | Hutchinson, Amy | Burdette, Laurie | Ibrahim, Abdisamad | Hautman, Christopher | Raj, Preethi S. | Abnet, Christian C. | Adjei, Andrew A. | Ahlbom, Anders | Albanes, Demetrius | Allen, Naomi E. | Ambrosone, Christine B. | Aldrich, Melinda | Amiano, Pilar | Amos, Christopher | Andersson, Ulrika | Andriole, Gerald | Andrulis, Irene L. | Arici, Cecilia | Arslan, Alan A. | Austin, Melissa A. | Baris, Dalsu | Barkauskas, Donald A. | Bassig, Bryan A. | Beane Freeman, Laura E. | Berg, Christine D. | Berndt, Sonja I. | Bertazzi, Pier Alberto | Biritwum, Richard B. | Black, Amanda | Blot, William | Boeing, Heiner | Boffetta, Paolo | Bolton, Kelly | Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine | Bracci, Paige M. | Brennan, Paul | Brinton, Louise A. | Brotzman, Michelle | Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. Bas | Buring, Julie E. | Butler, Mary Ann | Cai, Qiuyin | Cancel-Tassin, Geraldine | Canzian, Federico | Cao, Guangwen | Caporaso, Neil E. | Carrato, Alfredo | Carreon, Tania | Carta, Angela | Chang, Gee-Chen | Chang, I-Shou | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Che, Xu | Chen, Chien-Jen | Chen, Chih-Yi | Chen, Chung-Hsing | Chen, Constance | Chen, Kuan-Yu | Chen, Yuh-Min | Chokkalingam, Anand P. | Chu, Lisa W. | Clavel-Chapelon, Francoise | Colditz, Graham A. | Colt, Joanne S. | Conti, David | Cook, Michael B. | Cortessis, Victoria K. | Crawford, E. David | Cussenot, Olivier | Davis, Faith G. | De Vivo, Immaculata | Deng, Xiang | Ding, Ti | Dinney, Colin P. | Di Stefano, Anna Luisa | Diver, W. Ryan | Duell, Eric J. | Elena, Joanne W. | Fan, Jin-Hu | Feigelson, Heather Spencer | Feychting, Maria | Figueroa, Jonine D. | Flanagan, Adrienne M. | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Freedman, Neal D. | Fridley, Brooke L. | Fuchs, Charles S. | Gago-Dominguez, Manuela | Gallinger, Steven | Gao, Yu-Tang | Gapstur, Susan M. | Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | Garcia-Closas, Reina | Gastier-Foster, Julie M. | Gaziano, J. Michael | Gerhard, Daniela S. | Giffen, Carol A. | Giles, Graham G. | Gillanders, Elizabeth M. | Giovannucci, Edward L. | Goggins, Michael | Gokgoz, Nalan | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Gonzalez, Carlos | Gorlick, Richard | Greene, Mark H. | Gross, Myron | Grossman, H. Barton | Grubb, Robert | Gu, Jian | Guan, Peng | Haiman, Christopher A. | Hallmans, Goran | Hankinson, Susan E. | Harris, Curtis C. | Hartge, Patricia | Hattinger, Claudia | Hayes, Richard B. | He, Qincheng | Helman, Lee | Henderson, Brian E. | Henriksson, Roger | Hoffman-Bolton, Judith | Hohensee, Chancellor | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Hong, Yun-Chul | Hoover, Robert N. | Hosgood, H. Dean | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Hsing, Ann W. | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Hu, Nan | Hu, Wei | Hu, Zhibin | Huang, Ming-Shyan | Hunter, David J. | Inskip, Peter D. | Ito, Hidemi | Jacobs, Eric J. | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Jenab, Mazda | Ji, Bu-Tian | Johansen, Christoffer | Johansson, Mattias | Johnson, Alison | Kaaks, Rudolf | Kamat, Ashish M. | Kamineni, Aruna | Karagas, Margaret | Khanna, Chand | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Christopher | Kim, In-Sam | Kim, Jin Hee | Kim, Yeul Hong | Kim, Young-Chul | Kim, Young Tae | Kang, Chang Hyun | Jung, Yoo Jin | Kitahara, Cari M. | Klein, Alison P. | Klein, Robert | Kogevinas, Manolis | Koh, Woon-Puay | Kohno, Takashi | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Kooperberg, Charles | Kratz, Christian P. | Krogh, Vittorio | Kunitoh, Hideo | Kurtz, Robert C. | Kurucu, Nilgun | Lan, Qing | Lathrop, Mark | Lau, Ching C. | Lecanda, Fernando | Lee, Kyoung-Mu | Lee, Maxwell P. | Le Marchand, Loic | Lerner, Seth P. | Li, Donghui | Liao, Linda M. | Lim, Wei-Yen | Lin, Dongxin | Lin, Jie | Lindstrom, Sara | Linet, Martha S. | Lissowska, Jolanta | Liu, Jianjun | Ljungberg, Börje | Lloreta, Josep | Lu, Daru | Ma, Jing | Malats, Nuria | Mannisto, Satu | Marina, Neyssa | Mastrangelo, Giuseppe | Matsuo, Keitaro | McGlynn, Katherine A. | McKean-Cowdin, Roberta | McNeill, Lorna H. | McWilliams, Robert R. | Melin, Beatrice S. | Meltzer, Paul S. | Mensah, James E. | Miao, Xiaoping | Michaud, Dominique S. | Mondul, Alison M. | Moore, Lee E. | Muir, Kenneth | Niwa, Shelley | Olson, Sara H. | Orr, Nick | Panico, Salvatore | Park, Jae Yong | Patel, Alpa V. | Patino-Garcia, Ana | Pavanello, Sofia | Peeters, Petra H. M. | Peplonska, Beata | Peters, Ulrike | Petersen, Gloria M. | Picci, Piero | Pike, Malcolm C. | Porru, Stefano | Prescott, Jennifer | Pu, Xia | Purdue, Mark P. | Qiao, You-Lin | Rajaraman, Preetha | Riboli, Elio | Risch, Harvey A. | Rodabough, Rebecca J. | Rothman, Nathaniel | Ruder, Avima M. | Ryu, Jeong-Seon | Sanson, Marc | Schned, Alan | Schumacher, Fredrick R. | Schwartz, Ann G. | Schwartz, Kendra L. | Schwenn, Molly | Scotlandi, Katia | Seow, Adeline | Serra, Consol | Serra, Massimo | Sesso, Howard D. | Severi, Gianluca | Shen, Hongbing | Shen, Min | Shete, Sanjay | Shiraishi, Kouya | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Siddiq, Afshan | Sierrasesumaga, Luis | Sierri, Sabina | Loon Sihoe, Alan Dart | Silverman, Debra T. | Simon, Matthias | Southey, Melissa C. | Spector, Logan | Spitz, Margaret | Stampfer, Meir | Stattin, Par | Stern, Mariana C. | Stevens, Victoria L. | Stolzenberg-Solomon, Rachael Z. | Stram, Daniel O. | Strom, Sara S. | Su, Wu-Chou | Sund, Malin | Sung, Sook Whan | Swerdlow, Anthony | Tan, Wen | Tanaka, Hideo | Tang, Wei | Tang, Ze-Zhang | Tardon, Adonina | Tay, Evelyn | Taylor, Philip R. | Tettey, Yao | Thomas, David M. | Tirabosco, Roberto | Tjonneland, Anne | Tobias, Geoffrey S. | Toro, Jorge R. | Travis, Ruth C. | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Troisi, Rebecca | Truelove, Ann | Tsai, Ying-Huang | Tucker, Margaret A. | Tumino, Rosario | Van Den Berg, David | Van Den Eeden, Stephen K. | Vermeulen, Roel | Vineis, Paolo | Visvanathan, Kala | Vogel, Ulla | Wang, Chaoyu | Wang, Chengfeng | Wang, Junwen | Wang, Sophia S. | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Weinstein, Stephanie J. | Wentzensen, Nicolas | Wheeler, William | White, Emily | Wiencke, John K. | Wolk, Alicja | Wolpin, Brian M. | Wong, Maria Pik | Wrensch, Margaret | Wu, Chen | Wu, Tangchun | Wu, Xifeng | Wu, Yi-Long | Wunder, Jay S. | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Xu, Jun | Yang, Hannah P. | Yang, Pan-Chyr | Yatabe, Yasushi | Ye, Yuanqing | Yeboah, Edward D. | Yin, Zhihua | Ying, Chen | Yu, Chong-Jen | Yu, Kai | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zanetti, Krista A. | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Zheng, Wei | Zhou, Baosen | Mirabello, Lisa | Savage, Sharon A. | Kraft, Peter | Chanock, Stephen J. | Yeager, Meredith | Landi, Maria Terese | Shi, Jianxin | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Amundadottir, Laufey T.
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(24):6616-6633.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have mapped risk alleles for at least 10 distinct cancers to a small region of 63 000 bp on chromosome 5p15.33. This region harbors the TERT and CLPTM1L genes; the former encodes the catalytic subunit of telomerase reverse transcriptase and the latter may play a role in apoptosis. To investigate further the genetic architecture of common susceptibility alleles in this region, we conducted an agnostic subset-based meta-analysis (association analysis based on subsets) across six distinct cancers in 34 248 cases and 45 036 controls. Based on sequential conditional analysis, we identified as many as six independent risk loci marked by common single-nucleotide polymorphisms: five in the TERT gene (Region 1: rs7726159, P = 2.10 × 10−39; Region 3: rs2853677, P = 3.30 × 10−36 and PConditional = 2.36 × 10−8; Region 4: rs2736098, P = 3.87 × 10−12 and PConditional = 5.19 × 10−6, Region 5: rs13172201, P = 0.041 and PConditional = 2.04 × 10−6; and Region 6: rs10069690, P = 7.49 × 10−15 and PConditional = 5.35 × 10−7) and one in the neighboring CLPTM1L gene (Region 2: rs451360; P = 1.90 × 10−18 and PConditional = 7.06 × 10−16). Between three and five cancers mapped to each independent locus with both risk-enhancing and protective effects. Allele-specific effects on DNA methylation were seen for a subset of risk loci, indicating that methylation and subsequent effects on gene expression may contribute to the biology of risk variants on 5p15.33. Our results provide strong support for extensive pleiotropy across this region of 5p15.33, to an extent not previously observed in other cancer susceptibility loci.
PMCID: PMC4240198  PMID: 25027329
15.  TP53 genetic polymorphisms, interactions with lifestyle factors and lung cancer risk: a case control study in a Chinese population 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:607.
A pathway-based genotyping analysis suggested rs2078486 was a novel TP53 SNP, but very few studies replicate this association. TP53 rs1042522 is the most commonly studied SNP, but very few studies examined its potential interaction with environmental factors in relation to lung cancer risk. This study aims to examine associations between two TP53 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2078486, rs1042522), their potential interaction with environmental factors and risk of lung cancer.
A case–control study was conducted in Taiyuan, China. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Multiplicative and additive interactions between TP53 SNPs and lifestyle factors were evaluated.
Variant TP53 rs2078486 SNP was significantly associated with elevated lung cancer risk among smokers (OR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.08 - 2.67) and individuals with high indoor air pollution exposure (OR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.00-2.30). Significant or borderline significant multiplicative and additive interactions were found between TP53 rs2078486 polymorphism with smoking and indoor air pollution exposure. The variant genotype of TP53 SNP rs1042522 significantly increased lung cancer risk in the total population (OR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.11-2.21), but there was no evidence of heterogeneity among individuals with different lifestyle factors.
This study confirmed that TP53 rs2078486 SNP is potentially a novel TP53 SNP that may affect lung cancer risk. Our study also suggested potential synergetic effects of TP53 rs2078486 SNP with smoking and indoor air pollution exposure on lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3877976  PMID: 24369748
Lung cancer; TP53; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Chinese population
16.  Genetic determinants of telomere length and risk of common cancers: a Mendelian randomization study 
Human Molecular Genetics  2015;24(18):5356-5366.
Epidemiological studies have reported inconsistent associations between telomere length (TL) and risk for various cancers. These inconsistencies are likely attributable, in part, to biases that arise due to post-diagnostic and post-treatment TL measurement. To avoid such biases, we used a Mendelian randomization approach and estimated associations between nine TL-associated SNPs and risk for five common cancer types (breast, lung, colorectal, ovarian and prostate cancer, including subtypes) using data on 51 725 cases and 62 035 controls. We then used an inverse-variance weighted average of the SNP-specific associations to estimate the association between a genetic score representing long TL and cancer risk. The long TL genetic score was significantly associated with increased risk of lung adenocarcinoma (P = 6.3 × 10−15), even after exclusion of a SNP residing in a known lung cancer susceptibility region (TERT-CLPTM1L) P = 6.6 × 10−6). Under Mendelian randomization assumptions, the association estimate [odds ratio (OR) = 2.78] is interpreted as the OR for lung adenocarcinoma corresponding to a 1000 bp increase in TL. The weighted TL SNP score was not associated with other cancer types or subtypes. Our finding that genetic determinants of long TL increase lung adenocarcinoma risk avoids issues with reverse causality and residual confounding that arise in observational studies of TL and disease risk. Under Mendelian randomization assumptions, our finding suggests that longer TL increases lung adenocarcinoma risk. However, caution regarding this causal interpretation is warranted in light of the potential issue of pleiotropy, and a more general interpretation is that SNPs influencing telomere biology are also implicated in lung adenocarcinoma risk.
PMCID: PMC4550826  PMID: 26138067
17.  Functional evaluation of TERT-CLPTM1L genetic variants associated with susceptibility of papillary thyroid carcinoma 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:26037.
TERT is the catalytic subunit of telomerase which plays an essential part in cellular immortality by maintaining telomere integrity. TERT is commonly over-expressed in human malignancies, indicating its key role in cell transformation. The chromosome 5p15.33 TERT-CLPTM1L region has been associated with susceptibility of multiple cancers via a genome-wide association approach. However, the involvement of this locus in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) etiology is still largely unknown. We analyzed 15 haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) of the TERT-CLPTM1L region in a two stage case-control design. After genotyping 2300 PTC patients and frequency-matched 2300 unaffected controls, we found that TERT rs2736100 genetic variant is significantly associated with elevated PTC risk. Ex vivo reporter gene assays indicated that the PTC susceptibility rs2736100 polymorphism locating in a potential TERT intronic enhancer has a genotype-specific effect on TERT expression. Correlations between rs2736100 genotypes and tissue-specific TERT expression supported the regulatory function of this genetic variant in vivo. Our data demonstrated that the functional TERT rs2736100 SNP as a novel genetic component of PTC etiology. This study, together with recent studies in other cancers, unequivocally establishes an essential role of TERT in cancers.
PMCID: PMC4869017  PMID: 27185198
18.  Variants in or near KITLG, BAK1, DMRT1, and TERT-CLPTM1L predispose to familial testicular germ cell tumour 
Journal of medical genetics  2011;48(7):473-476.
Familial testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) and bilateral TGCTs comprise 1–2% and 5% of all TGCTs, respectively, but their genetic basis remains largely unknown.
To investigate the contribution of known testicular cancer risk variants in familial and bilateral TGCTs.
Methods and results
The study genotyped 106 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four regions (BAK1, DMRT1, KITLG, TERT-CLPTM1L) previously identified from genome-wide association studies of TGCT, including risk single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs210138 (BAK1), rs755383 (DMRT1), rs4635969 (TERT-CLPTM1L) in 97 cases with familial TGCT and 22 affected individuals with sporadic bilateral TGCT as well as 871 controls. Using a generalised estimating equations method that takes into account blood relationships among cases, the associations with familial and bilateral TGCT were analysed. Three previously identified risk SNPs were found to be associated with familial and bilateral TGCT (rs210138: OR 1.80, CI 1.35 to 2.41, p = 7.03×10−5; rs755383: OR 1.67, CI 1.23 to 2.22, p=6.70×10−4; rs4635969: OR 1.59, CI 1.16 to 2.19, p=4.07×10−3). Evidence for a second independent association was found for an SNP in TERT (rs4975605: OR 1.68, CI 1.23 to 2.29, p=1.24×10−3). Another association with an SNP was identified in KITLG (rs2046971: OR 2.33, p=1.28×10−3); this SNP is in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with reported risk variant rs995030.
This study provides evidence for replication of recent genome-wide association studies results and shows that variants in or near BAK1, DMRT1, TERT-CLPTM1L, and KITLG predispose to familial and bilateral TGCT. These findings imply that familial TGCT and sporadic TGCT share a common genetic basis.
PMCID: PMC3131696  PMID: 21617256
19.  Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Locus Polymorphisms and Cancer Risk: A Field Synopsis and Meta-Analysis 
Several recent studies have provided evidence that polymorphisms in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene sequence are associated with cancer development, but a comprehensive synopsis is not available. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available molecular epidemiology data regarding the association between TERT locus polymorphisms and predisposition to cancer.
A systematic review of the English literature was conducted by searching PubMed, Embase, Cancerlit, Google Scholar, and ISI Web of Knowledge databases for studies on associations between TERT locus polymorphisms and cancer risk. Random-effects meta-analysis was performed to pool per-allele odds ratios for TERT locus polymorphisms and risk of cancer, and between-study heterogeneity and potential bias sources (eg, publication and chasing bias) were assessed. Because the TERT locus includes the cleft lip and palate transmembrane 1-like (CLPTM1L) gene, which is in linkage disequilibrium with TERT, CLPTM1L polymorphisms were also analyzed. Cumulative evidence for polymorphisms with statistically significant associations was graded as “strong,” “moderate,” and “weak” according to the Venice criteria. The joint population attributable risk was calculated for polymorphisms with strong evidence of association.
Eighty-five studies enrolling 490 901 subjects and reporting on 494 allelic contrasts were retrieved. Data were available on 67 TERT locus polymorphisms and 24 tumor types, for a total of 221 unique combinations of polymorphisms and cancer types. Upon meta-analysis, a statistically significant association with the risk of any cancer type was found for 22 polymorphisms. Strong, moderate, and weak cumulative evidence for association with at least one tumor type was demonstrated for 11, 9, and 14 polymorphisms, respectively. For lung cancer, which was the most studied tumor type, the estimated joint population attributable risk for three polymorphisms (TERT rs2736100, intergenic rs4635969, and CLPTM1L rs402710) was 41%. Strong evidence for lack of association was identified for five polymorphisms in three tumor types.
To our knowledge, this is the largest collection of data for associations between TERT locus polymorphisms and cancer risk. Our findings support the hypothesis that genetic variability in this genomic region can modulate cancer susceptibility in humans.
PMCID: PMC3611810  PMID: 22523397
20.  Longer Telomere Length in Peripheral White Blood Cells Is Associated with Risk of Lung Cancer and the rs2736100 (CLPTM1L-TERT) Polymorphism in a Prospective Cohort Study among Women in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59230.
A recent genome-wide association study of lung cancer among never-smoking females in Asia demonstrated that the rs2736100 polymorphism in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus on chromosome 5p15.33 was strongly and significantly associated with risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung. The telomerase gene TERT is a reverse transcriptase that is critical for telomere replication and stabilization by controlling telomere length. We previously found that longer telomere length measured in peripheral white blood cell DNA was associated with increased risk of lung cancer in a prospective cohort study of smoking males in Finland. To follow up on this finding, we carried out a nested case-control study of 215 female lung cancer cases and 215 female controls, 94% of whom were never-smokers, in the prospective Shanghai Women’s Health Study cohort. There was a dose-response relationship between tertiles of telomere length and risk of lung cancer (odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.0, 1.4 [0.8–2.5], and 2.2 [1.2–4.0], respectively; P trend = 0.003). Further, the association was unchanged by the length of time from blood collection to case diagnosis. In addition, the rs2736100 G allele, which we previously have shown to be associated with risk of lung cancer in this cohort, was significantly associated with longer telomere length in these same study subjects (P trend = 0.030). Our findings suggest that individuals with longer telomere length in peripheral white blood cells may have an increased risk of lung cancer, but require replication in additional prospective cohorts and populations.
PMCID: PMC3608613  PMID: 23555636
21.  Role of Nicotine Dependence on the Relationship between Variants in the Nicotinic Receptor Genes and Risk of Lung Adenocarcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107268.
Several variations in the nicotinic receptor genes have been identified to be associated with both lung cancer risk and smoking in the genome-wide association (GWA) studies. However, the relationships among these three factors (genetic variants, nicotine dependence, and lung cancer) remain unclear. In an attempt to elucidate these relationships, we applied mediation analysis to quantify the impact of nicotine dependence on the association between the nicotinic receptor genetic variants and lung adenocarcinoma risk. We evaluated 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the five nicotinic receptor related genes (CHRNB3, CHRNA6, and CHRNA5/A3/B4) previously reported to be associated with lung cancer risk and smoking behavior and 14 SNPs in the four ‘control’ genes (TERT, CLPTM1L, CYP1A1, and TP53), which were not reported in the smoking GWA studies. A total of 661 lung adenocarcinoma cases and 1,347 controls with a smoking history, obtained from the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology case-control study, were included in the study. Results show that nicotine dependence is a mediator of the association between lung adenocarcinoma and gene variations in the regions of CHRNA5/A3/B4 and accounts for approximately 15% of this relationship. The top two CHRNA3 SNPs associated with the risk for lung adenocarcinoma were rs1051730 and rs12914385 (p-value = 1.9×10−10 and 1.1×10−10, respectively). Also, these two SNPs had significant indirect effects on lung adenocarcinoma risk through nicotine dependence (p = 0.003 and 0.007). Gene variations rs2736100 and rs2853676 in TERT and rs401681 and rs31489 in CLPTM1L had significant direct associations on lung adenocarcinoma without indirect effects through nicotine dependence. Our findings suggest that nicotine dependence plays an important role between genetic variants in the CHRNA5/A3/B4 region, especially CHRNA3, and lung adenocarcinoma. This may provide valuable information for understanding the pathogenesis of lung adenocarcinoma and for conducting personalized smoking cessation interventions.
PMCID: PMC4169410  PMID: 25233467
22.  Genetic Variations in TERT-CLPTM1L Genes and Risk of Lung Cancer in Chinese Women Nonsmokers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64988.
The TERT gene is the reverse transcriptase component of telomerase and is essential for the maintenance of telomere DNA length, chromosomal stability and cellular immortality. CLPTM1L gene encodes a protein linked to cisplatin resistance, and it is well conserved and express in various normal or malignant tissues, including lung.
To test this hypothesis, we genotyped for two significant SNPs TERT-rs2736098 and CLPTM1L-rs4016981 in a case-control study with 501 cancer cases and 576 cancer-free controls in Chinese nonsmoking population. Information concerning demographic and risk factors was obtained for each case and control by a trained interviewer. Gene polymorphisms were determined by TaqMan methodology.
We found that the homozygous variant genetic model of TERT gene was associated with a significantly increased risk of lung cancer with adjusted OR of 1.72(95%CI = 1.19–2.51, P = 0.004 for heterogeneity). The joint effect of TERT and CLPTM1L increased risk for lung cancer with adjusted OR is 1.31(95%CI = 1.00–1.74, P = 0.052 for heterogeneity).
Genetic variants in TERT and CLPTM1L may affect the susceptibility of lung cancer, especially adenocarcinoma in Chinese women nonsmokers.
PMCID: PMC3667812  PMID: 23738012
23.  Genetic variability in DNA repair and cell cycle control pathway genes and risk of smoking-related lung cancer 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2011;51(Suppl 1):E11-E20.
DNA repair and cell cycle control play an important role in the repair of DNA damage caused by cigarette smoking. Given this role, functionally relevant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes in these pathways may well affect the risk of smoking-related lung cancer. We examined the relationship between 240 SNPs in DNA repair and cell cycle control pathway genes and lung cancer risk in a case-control study of white current and ex-cigarette smokers (722 cases and 929 controls). Additive, dominant and recessive genetic models were evaluated for each SNP. A genetic risk summary score was also constructed. Odds ratios (OR) for lung cancer risk and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated using logistic regression models. Thirty-eight SNPs were associated with lung cancer risk in our study population at P<0.05. The strongest associations were observed for rs2074508 in GTF2H4 (Padditive=0.003), rs10500298 in LIG1 (Precessive=2.7×10−4), rs747658 and rs3219073 in PARP1 (rs747658: Padditive=5.8×10−5; rs3219073: Padditive=4.6×10−5), and rs1799782 and rs3213255 in XRCC1 (rs1799782: Pdominant=0.006; rs3213255: Precessive=0.004). Compared to individuals with first quartile (lowest) risk summary scores, individuals with third and fourth quartile summary score results were at increased risk for lung cancer (OR: 2.21, 95% CI: 1.66–2.95 and OR: 3.44, 95% CI: 2.58–4.59, respectively; Ptrend<0.0001). Our data suggests that variation in DNA repair and cell cycle control pathway genes is associated with smoking-related lung cancer risk. Additionally, combining genotype information for SNPs in these pathways may assist in classifying current and ex-cigarette smokers according to lung cancer risk.
PMCID: PMC3289753  PMID: 21976407
SNP; case-control; lung cancer
24.  Common variations in TERT-CLPTM1L locus are reproducibly associated with the risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Chinese populations 
Oncotarget  2015;7(1):759-770.
Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 5p15 (TERT-CLPTM1L) and multiple cancer types have been reported. We examined whether polymorphisms in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus were related to the risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) among Chinese populations. In the first stage, 26 tag SNPs were genotyped in a Guangxi population (855 patients and 1036 controls). In the second stage, the SNPs, which showed significant association, were further genotyped in a Guangdong population (997 patients and 972 controls). Functional analyses were conducted to verify the biological relevance of the associated polymorphism. In the 1st stage, four SNPs (rs2736098, rs2735845, rs402710, and rs401681) were significantly associated with the risk of developing NPC. After the 2nd stage validation, rs2735845 and rs401681 were independently associated with the risk of developing NPC in the additive model (rs2735845, OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.04–1.37, P = 0.011; rs401681, OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74–0.99, P = 0.034). Furthermore, we observed higher CLPTM1L messenger RNA levels in fetal mesenchymal stem cells from the rs2735845 G allele carriers compared with that from non-carriers. In addition, using an immunohistochemistry assay, we observed higher TERT and CLPTM1L levels in NPC tissues compared with that in non-cancerous nasopharyngeal tissues. Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in the TERT-CLPTM1L locus may play a role in mediating the susceptibility to NPC in Chinese populations.
PMCID: PMC4808031  PMID: 26621837
TERT; CLPTM1L; polymorphism; nasopharyngeal carcinoma
25.  Inherited genetic variants associated with occurrence of multiple primary melanoma 
Recent studies including genome-wide association studies have identified several putative low-penetrance susceptibility loci for melanoma. We sought to determine their generalizability to genetic predisposition for multiple primary melanoma in the international population-based Genes, Environment, and Melanoma (GEM) Study. GEM is a case-control study of 1,206 incident cases of multiple primary melanoma and 2,469 incident first primary melanoma participants as the control group. We investigated the odds of developing multiple primary melanoma for 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from 21 distinct genetic regions previously reported to be associated with melanoma. ORs and 95% CIs were determined using logistic regression models adjusted for baseline features (age, sex, age by sex interaction, and study center). We investigated univariable models and built multivariable models to assess independent effects of SNPs. Eleven SNPs in 6 gene neighborhoods (TERT/CLPTM1L, TYRP1, MTAP, TYR, NCOA6, and MX2) and a PARP1 haplotype were associated with multiple primary melanoma. In a multivariable model that included only the most statistically significant findings from univariable modeling and adjusted for pigmentary phenotype, back nevi, and baseline features, we found TERT/CLPTM1L rs401681 (P = 0.004), TYRP1 rs2733832 (P = 0.006), MTAP rs1335510 (P = 0.0005), TYR rs10830253 (P = 0.003), and MX2 rs45430 (P = 0.008) to be significantly associated with multiple primary melanoma while NCOA6 rs4911442 approached significance (P = 0.06). The GEM study provides additional evidence for the relevance of these genetic regions to melanoma risk and estimates the magnitude of the observed genetic effect on development of subsequent primary melanoma.
PMCID: PMC4452425  PMID: 25837821
Melanoma; risk; population-based; genotype; haplotype; single nucleotide polymorphism

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