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1.  Trans-ethnic genome-wide association study of colorectal cancer identifies a new susceptibility locus in VTI1A 
Nature communications  2014;5:4613.
The genetic basis of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) is not well explained by known risk polymorphisms. Here we perform a meta-analysis of two genome-wide association studies in 2,627 cases and 3,797 controls of Japanese ancestry and 1,894 cases and 4,703 controls of African ancestry, to identify genetic variants that contribute to CRC susceptibility. We replicate genome-wide statistically significant associations (P < 5×10−8) in 16,823 cases and 18,211 controls of European ancestry. This study reveals a new pan-ethnic CRC risk locus at 10q25 (rs12241008, intronic to VTI1A; P=1.4×10−9), providing additional insight into the etiology of CRC and highlighting the value of association mapping in diverse populations.
doi:10.1038/ncomms5613
PMCID: PMC4180879  PMID: 25105248
2.  GWAS meta-analysis and replication identifies three new susceptibility loci for ovarian cancer 
Pharoah, Paul D. P. | Tsai, Ya-Yu | Ramus, Susan J. | Phelan, Catherine M. | Goode, Ellen L. | Lawrenson, Kate | Price, Melissa | Fridley, Brooke L. | Tyrer, Jonathan P. | Shen, Howard | Weber, Rachel | Karevan, Rod | Larson, Melissa C. | Song, Honglin | Tessier, Daniel C. | Bacot, François | Vincent, Daniel | Cunningham, Julie M. | Dennis, Joe | Dicks, Ed | Aben, Katja K. | Anton-Culver, Hoda | Antonenkova, Natalia | Armasu, Sebastian M. | Baglietto, Laura | Bandera, Elisa V. | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Birrer, Michael J. | Bloom, Greg | Bogdanova, Natalia | Brenton, James D. | Brinton, Louise A. | Brooks-Wilson, Angela | Brown, Robert | Butzow, Ralf | Campbell, Ian | Carney, Michael E | Carvalho, Renato S. | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Chen, Y. Anne | Chen, Zhihua | Chow, Wong-Ho | Cicek, Mine S. | Coetzee, Gerhard | Cook, Linda S. | Cramer, Daniel W. | Cybulski, Cezary | Dansonka-Mieszkowska, Agnieszka | Despierre, Evelyn | Doherty, Jennifer A | Dörk, Thilo | du Bois, Andreas | Dürst, Matthias | Eccles, Diana | Edwards, Robert | Ekici, Arif B. | Fasching, Peter A. | Fenstermacher, David | Flanagan, James | Gao, Yu-Tang | Garcia-Closas, Montserrat | Gentry-Maharaj, Aleksandra | Giles, Graham | Gjyshi, Anxhela | Gore, Martin | Gronwald, Jacek | Guo, Qi | Halle, Mari K | Harter, Philipp | Hein, Alexander | Heitz, Florian | Hillemanns, Peter | Hoatlin, Maureen | Høgdall, Estrid | Høgdall, Claus K. | Hosono, Satoyo | Jakubowska, Anna | Jensen, Allan | Kalli, Kimberly R. | Karlan, Beth Y. | Kelemen, Linda E. | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. | Kjaer, Susanne Krüger | Konecny, Gottfried E. | Krakstad, Camilla | Kupryjanczyk, Jolanta | Lambrechts, Diether | Lambrechts, Sandrina | Le, Nhu D. | Lee, Nathan | Lee, Janet | Leminen, Arto | Lim, Boon Kiong | Lissowska, Jolanta | Lubiński, Jan | Lundvall, Lene | Lurie, Galina | Massuger, Leon F.A.G. | Matsuo, Keitaro | McGuire, Valerie | McLaughlin, John R | Menon, Usha | Modugno, Francesmary | Moysich, Kirsten B. | Nakanishi, Toru | Narod, Steven A. | Ness, Roberta B. | Nevanlinna, Heli | Nickels, Stefan | Noushmehr, Houtan | Odunsi, Kunle | Olson, Sara | Orlow, Irene | Paul, James | Pejovic, Tanja | Pelttari, Liisa M | Permuth-Wey, Jenny | Pike, Malcolm C | Poole, Elizabeth M | Qu, Xiaotao | Risch, Harvey A. | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Rossing, Mary Anne | Rudolph, Anja | Runnebaum, Ingo | Rzepecka, Iwona K | Salvesen, Helga B. | Schwaab, Ira | Severi, Gianluca | Shen, Hui | Shridhar, Vijayalakshmi | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Sieh, Weiva | Southey, Melissa C. | Spellman, Paul | Tajima, Kazuo | Teo, Soo-Hwang | Terry, Kathryn L. | Thompson, Pamela J | Timorek, Agnieszka | Tworoger, Shelley S. | van Altena, Anne M. | Berg, David Van Den | Vergote, Ignace | Vierkant, Robert A. | Vitonis, Allison F. | Wang-Gohrke, Shan | Wentzensen, Nicolas | Whittemore, Alice S. | Wik, Elisabeth | Winterhoff, Boris | Woo, Yin Ling | Wu, Anna H | Yang, Hannah P. | Zheng, Wei | Ziogas, Argyrios | Zulkifli, Famida | Goodman, Marc T. | Hall, Per | Easton, Douglas F | Pearce, Celeste L | Berchuck, Andrew | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Iversen, Edwin | Monteiro, Alvaro N.A. | Gayther, Simon A. | Schildkraut, Joellen M. | Sellers, Thomas A.
Nature genetics  2013;45(4):362-370e2.
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified four susceptibility loci for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) with another two loci being close to genome-wide significance. We pooled data from a GWAS conducted in North America with another GWAS from the United Kingdom. We selected the top 24,551 SNPs for inclusion on the iCOGS custom genotyping array. Follow-up genotyping was carried out in 18,174 cases and 26,134 controls from 43 studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We validated the two loci at 3q25 and 17q21 previously near genome-wide significance and identified three novel loci associated with risk; two loci associated with all EOC subtypes, at 8q21 (rs11782652, P=5.5×10-9) and 10p12 (rs1243180; P=1.8×10-8), and another locus specific to the serous subtype at 17q12 (rs757210; P=8.1×10-10). An integrated molecular analysis of genes and regulatory regions at these loci provided evidence for functional mechanisms underlying susceptibility that implicates CHMP4C in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer.
doi:10.1038/ng.2564
PMCID: PMC3693183  PMID: 23535730
3.  Dopamine genes and nicotine dependence in treatment seeking and community smokers 
We utilized a cohort of 828 treatment seeking self-identified white cigarette smokers (50% female) to rank candidate gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), a measure of nicotine dependence which assesses quantity of cigarettes smoked and time- and place-dependent characteristics of the respondent’s smoking behavior. 1123 SNPs at 55 autosomal candidate genes, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and genes involved in dopaminergic function, were tested for association to baseline FTND scores adjusted for age, depression, education, sex and study site. SNP P values were adjusted for the number of transmission models, the number of SNPs tested per candidate gene, and their intragenic correlation. DRD2, SLC6A3 and NR4A2 SNPs with adjusted P values < 0.10 were considered sufficiently noteworthy to justify further genetic, bioinformatic and literature analyses. Each independent signal among the top-ranked SNPs accounted for ~1% of the FTND variance in this sample. The DRD2 SNP appears to represent a novel association with nicotine dependence. The SLC6A3 SNPs have previously been shown to be associated with SLC6A3 transcription or dopamine transporter density in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo. Analysis of SLC6A3 and NR4A2 SNPs identified a statistically significant gene-gene interaction (P=0.001), consistent with in vitro evidence that the NR4A2 protein product (NURR1) regulates SLC6A3 transcription. A community cohort of N=175 multiplex ever smoking pedigrees (N=423 ever smokers) provided nominal evidence for association with the FTND at these top ranked SNPs, uncorrected for multiple comparisons.
doi:10.1038/npp.2009.52
PMCID: PMC3558036  PMID: 19494806
dopamine transporter; Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence; single nucleotide polymorphism; candidate gene association scan; gene-gene interaction
4.  Double-strand break damage and associated DNA repair genes predispose smokers to gene methylation 
Cancer research  2008;68(8):3049-3056.
Gene promoter hypermethylation in sputum is a promising biomarker for predicting lung cancer. Identifying factors that predispose smokers to methylation of multiple gene promoters in the lung could impact strategies for early detection and chemoprevention. This study evaluated the hypothesis that double-strand break repair capacity and sequence variation in genes in this pathway are associated with a high methylation index in a cohort of current and former cancer-free smokers. A 50% reduction in the mean level of double-strand break repair capacity was seen in lymphocytes from smokers with a high methylation index, defined as ≥ 3 of 8 genes methylated in sputum, compared to smokers with no genes methylated. The classification accuracy for predicting risk for methylation was 88%. Single nucleotide polymorphisms within the MRE11A, CHEK2, XRCC3, DNA-Pkc, and NBN DNA repair genes were highly associated with the methylation index. A 14.5-fold increased odds for high methylation was seen for persons with ≥ 7 risk alleles of these genes. Promoter activity of the MRE11A gene that plays a critical role in recognition of DNA damage and activation of ATM was reduced in persons with the risk allele. Collectively, ours is the first population-based study to identify double-strand break DNA repair capacity and specific genes within this pathway as critical determinants for gene methylation in sputum, that is, in turn, associated with elevated risk for lung cancer.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6344
PMCID: PMC2483467  PMID: 18413776
promoter methylation; DNA double strand break; single nucleotide polymorphism; DNA repair capacity; association study
5.  Genetic determinants of mammographic density 
Breast Cancer Research  2002;4(3):R5.
Background
Changes in breast density are highly correlated with steroid hormone exposure.
Materials and methods
In a cross-sectional study of 396 Caucasian and African-American women, we evaluated whether polymorphisms in genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis and metabolism, CYP17 (T27C), COMT (Val158Met), 17HSDB1 (Ser312Gly) and 3HSDB1 (Asn367Thr), predict mammographic density. We also evaluated whether associations vary by menopausal and hormone replacement therapy status.
Results
We found no strong consistent relationships between polymorphisms in these genes and breast density. African-American women homozygous for the Thr allele of 3HSDB1 had increased density (the absolute difference versus the Asn/Asn genotype was +19.7%; P trend = 0.02), while Caucasian homozygous women had decreased density (-5.1%; P trend = 0.04). Among premenopausal women, carriers of the Ser allele had (not significantly) greater density (versus Gly/Gly genotype: +7.1%; P trend = 0.07). In addition, among current users of hormone replacement therapy, we observed that women with the low-activity Met/Met genotype of COMT had greater breast density (versus the Val/Val genotype: +11.7%; P trend = 0.01).
Conclusion
Additional large studies evaluating these and other candidate breast cancer genes will be required to determine what proportion, if any, of the interindividual differences in breast density are due to underlying genetic variation in genes involved in steroid hormone biosynthesis or metabolism.
PMCID: PMC111030  PMID: 12052257
breast cancer; genetic susceptibility; mammographic density; molecular epidemiology

Results 1-5 (5)