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author:("Lu, jinchun")
1.  A functional genetic variant in fragile-site gene FATS modulates the risk of breast cancer in triparous women 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:559.
The fragile-site associated tumor suppressor (FATS, formerly known as C10orf90), a regulator of p53-p21 pathway has been involved in the onset of breast cancer. Recent data support the idea that the crosstalk between FATS and p53 may be of physiological importance for reproduction during evolution. The aim of the current study was to test the hypothesis that FATS genetic polymorphism can influence the risk of breast cancer.
We conducted population-based studies in two independent cohorts comprising 1 532 cases and 1 573 controls in Tianjin of North China, and 804 cases and 835 controls in Guangzhou of South China, coupled with functional validation methods, to investigate the role of FATS genetic variant in breast cancer risk.
We identified a functional variant rs11245007 (905C > T, 262D/N) in fragile-site gene FATS that modulates p53 activation. FATS-262 N exhibited stronger E3 activity to polyubiquitinate p53 than did FATS-262D, leading to the stronger transcriptional activity of p53 and more pronounced stabilization of p53 protein and its activation in response to DNA damage. Case–control studies found that CT or TT genotype was significantly associated with a protective effect on breast cancer risk in women with parity ≥ 3, which was not affected by family history.
Our findings suggest the role of FATS-p53 signaling cascade in suppressing pregnancy-related carcinogenesis and potential application of FATS genotyping in breast cancer prevention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1570-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4520099
Breast cancer; FATS; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; p53; Parity
2.  Polymorphisms of NFκB1 and IκBα and Their Synergistic Effect on Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Susceptibility 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:362542.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a multifactoral and polygenic disease with high prevalence in Southeast Asia and Southern China. Environmental factors and genetic susceptibility play important roles in NPC pathogenesis. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in nuclear factor-kappa B (NFκB) and its inhibitor (IκBα) conferred consistent risks for NPC. Four putatively functional SNPs (NFκB1: rs28362491del>ins ATTG; NFκB2: rs12769316G>A; IκBα: rs2233406C>T and rs696G>A) were analyzed to evaluate their associations with NPC risk in total 1590 NPC cases and 1979 cancer-free controls. We found that the rs28362491 insATTG variants (ins/del + ins/ins) in NFκB1 conferred an increased risk of NPC (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09–1.55, and P = 2.80 × 10−3) compared with the del/del homozygous genotype. The rs696AA variant in IκBα had an increased risk of NPC (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.20–1.66, and P = 2.28 × 10−5) by decreasing IκBα expression due to the modulation of microRNA hsa-miR-449a. Furthermore, both adverse genotypes of NFκB/IκBα and their interaction also exerted an increased risk on NPC. Taken together, Our findings indicated that genetic variants in NFκB1 (rs28362491del>ins ATTG) and IκBα (rs696G>A) and their synergistic effect might contribute to NPC predisposition.
PMCID: PMC4486297  PMID: 26161396
3.  Circular RNA ITCH has inhibitory effect on ESCC by suppressing the Wnt/β-catenin pathway 
Oncotarget  2015;6(8):6001-6013.
Circular RNAs with exonic sequences represent a special form of non-coding RNAs, discovered by analyzing a handful of transcribed genes. It has been observed that circular RNAs function as microRNA sponges. In the present study, we investigated whether the expression of circular RNAs is altered during the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Using a TaqMan-based reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay, the relationship between cir-ITCH and ESCC was analyzed in a total of 684 ESCC and paired adjacent non-tumor tissue samples from eastern and southern China. We found that cir-ITCH expression was usually low in ESCC compared to the peritumoral tissue. The functional relevance of cir-ITCH was further examined by biochemical assays. As sponge of miR-7, miR-17, and miR-214, cir-ITCH might increase the level of ITCH. ITCH hyper expression promotes ubiquitination and degradation of phosphorylated Dvl2, thereby inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. These results indicate that cir-ITCH may have an inhibitory effect on ESCC by regulating the Wnt pathway.
PMCID: PMC4467417  PMID: 25749389
Cir-ITCH; ESCC; Wnt/β-catenin pathway
4.  A genome-wide gene–gene interaction analysis identifies an epistatic gene pair for lung cancer susceptibility in Han Chinese 
Carcinogenesis  2013;35(3):572-577.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. By now, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci associated with the risk of developing lung cancer. However, these loci account for only a small fraction of the familial lung cancer risk. We hypothesized that epistasis may contribute to the missing heritability. To test this hypothesis, we systematically evaluated the association of epistasis of genetic variants with risk of lung cancer in Han Chinese cohorts. We conducted a pairwise genetic interaction analysis of 591370 variants, using BOolean Operation-based Screening and Testing (BOOST), in an ongoing GWAS of lung cancer that includes 2331 cases and 3077 controls. Pairs of epistatic loci with P BOOST ≤ 1.00×10−6 were further evaluated by a logistic regression model (LRM) with covariate adjustment. Four promising epistatic pairs identified at the screening stage (P LRM ≤ 2.86×10− 13) were validated in two replication cohorts: the first from Beijing (1534 cases and 1489 controls) and the second from Shenyang and Guangzhou (2512 cases and 2449 controls). Using this combined analysis, we identified an interaction between rs2562796 and rs16832404 at 2p32.2 that was significantly associated with the risk of developing lung cancer (P LRM = 1.03×10−13 in total 13 392 subjects). This study is the first investigation of epistasis for lung cancer on a genome-wide scale in Han Chinese. It addresses part of the missing heritability in lung cancer risk and provides novel insight into the multifactorial etiology of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3941747  PMID: 24325914
5.  A Functional Polymorphism in the 3'-UTR of PXR Interacts with Smoking to Increase Lung Cancer Risk in Southern and Eastern Chinese Smoker 
Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is an important member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that copes with various endobiotic and xenobiotic stimuli, such as carcinogens by regulating an array of environmental response genes. Low PXR expression has been shown to promote tumor initiation and metastasis. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of PXR could alter lung cancer susceptibility in Chinese by affecting the function or expression of PXR. We genotyped three putatively functional SNPs of PXR (i.e., rs3814055C>T, rs3732360C>T, and rs3814058C>T) and analyzed their associations with lung cancer risk in a two-stage case-control study with a total of 1559 lung cancer cases and 1679 controls in the southern and eastern Chinese population. We found that in comparison to the rs3814058CC common genotype, the rs3814058T variants (TC/TT) which is located in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of PXR conferred a consistently increased risk of lung cancer in both the southern Chinese (odd ratios (OR) = 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03−1.49) and the eastern Chinese (OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.02−1.75). The variants also significantly interacted with smoking on increasing cancer risk (p = 0.023). Moreover, lung cancer tissues with the rs3814058T variants showed significantly lower PXR expression than those with rs3814058CC genotype in the smokers (p = 0.041). These results suggested that the rs3814058C>T polymorphism of PXR interacts with smoking on increasing lung cancer risk in Chinese smokers, which might be a functional genetic biomarker for lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC4227172  PMID: 25268617
pregnane X receptor (PXR); lung cancer; susceptibility
6.  A Newfound Association between MDC1 Functional Polymorphism and Lung Cancer Risk in Chinese 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106794.
Mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1 (MDC1) plays an early and core role in Double-Strand Break Repair (DDR) and ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) mediated response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), and thus involves the pathogenesis of several DNA damage-related diseases such as cancer. We hypothesized that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of MDC1 which have potencies on affecting MDC1 expression or function were associated with risk of lung cancer. In a two-stage case-control study, we tested the association between 5 putatively functional SNPs of MDC1 and lung cancer risk in a southern Chinese population, and validated the promising association in an eastern Chinese population. We found the SNP rs4713354A>C that is located in the 5′-untranslated region of MDC1 was significantly associated with lung cancer risk in both populations (P = 0.024), with an odds ratio as 1.23(95% confidence interval  = 1.35–1.26) for the rs4713354C (CA+CC) genotypes compared to the rs4713354AA genotype. However, no significant association was observed between other SNPs and lung cancer risk. The gene-based analysis rested with these SNPs suggested the MDC1 as a susceptible gene for lung cancer (P = 0.009). Moreover, by querying the gene expression database, we further found that the rs4713354C genotypes confer a significantly lower mRNA expression of MDC1 than the rs4713354AA genotype in 260 cases of lymphoblastoid cells (P = 0.002). Our data suggested that the SNP rs4713354A>C of MDC1 may be a functional genetic biomarker for susceptibility to lung cancer in Chinese.
PMCID: PMC4157800  PMID: 25198518
7.  A Polymorphism rs12325489C>T in the LincRNA-ENST00000515084 Exon Was Found to Modulate Breast Cancer Risk via GWAS-Based Association Analyses 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98251.
Breast cancer, one of the most common malignancies diagnosed among women worldwide, is a complex polygenic disease in the etiology of which genetic factors play an important role. Thus far, a subset of breast cancer genetic susceptibility loci has been addressed among Asian woman through genome-wide association studies (GWASs). In this study, we identified numerous long, intergenic, noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) enriched in these breast cancer risk-related loci and identified 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located within the sequences of lincRNA exonic regions. We examined whether these 16 SNPs are associated with breast cancer risk in 2539 cancer patients and 2818 control subjects from eastern, southern, and northern Chinese populations. We found that the C allele of the rs12325489C>T polymorphism in the exonic regions of lincRNA-ENST00000515084 was associated with a significantly increased risk of breast cancer (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.50–2.12), compared with the rs12325489TT genotype. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that the C to T base change at rs12325489C>T disrupts the binding site for miRNA-370, thereby influencing the transcriptional activity of lincRNA-ENST00000515084 in vitro and in vivo, and affecting cell proliferation and tumor growth. Our findings indicate that the rs12325489C>T polymorphism in the lincRNA-ENST00000515084 exon may be a genetic modifier in the development of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4039483  PMID: 24879036
8.  Insights into transport velocity of colloid-associated plutonium relative to tritium in porous media 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:5037.
Although faster transport velocities of colloid-associated actinides, bacteria, and virus than nonreactive solutes have been observed in laboratory and field experiments, some questions still need to be answered. To accurately determine the relative velocity (UPu/UT) of 239Pu and tritium representative of the bulk water, a conceptual model of electrostatic interactions coupled with the parabolic water velocity profile in pore channels is developed. Based on the expression for UPu/UT derived from this model, we study the effects of water flow rates and ionic strengths on the UPu/UT. Also, the velocity relationship between Pu, tritium and Sr2+ is explored. The results show that UPu/UT increased fairly linearly with decreasing water flow rates; UPu/UT declined approximately exponentially with increasing Na+ concentrations; the charge properties of colloid-associated Pu (negative), tritium (neutral) and Sr2+ (positive) had a close association with their transport velocities as UPu : UT : USr2+ = 1.41 : 1 : 0.579.
PMCID: PMC4052758  PMID: 24849695
9.  Functional Genetic Polymorphisms in PP2A Subunit Genes Confer Increased Risks of Lung Cancer in Southern and Eastern Chinese 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77285.
Protein phosphatase-2A (PP2A) is one of the major cellular serine-threonine phosphatases and functions as a tumor suppressor that negatively regulates the activity of some oncogenic kinases. Recent studies have reported that PP2A expression was suppressed during lung carcinogenesis, we there hypothesized that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PP2A subunit genes may affect PP2A function and thus contribute to lung cancer susceptibility. In a two-stage case-control study with a total of 1559 lung cancer patients and 1679 controls, we genotyped eight putative functional SNPs and one identified functional SNP (i.e., rs11453459) in seven major PP2A subunits (i.e., PPP2R1A, PPP2R1B, PPP2CA, PPP2R2A, PPP2R2B, PPP2R5C, PPP2R5E) in southern and eastern Chinese. We found that rs11453459G (-G/GG) variant genotypes of PPP2R1A and the rs1255722AA variant genotype of PPP2R5E conferred increased risks of lung cancer (rs11453459, -G/GG vs. –: OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.13–1.51; rs1255722, AA vs. AG/GG: OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.07–1.51). After combined the two variants, the number of the adverse genotypes was positively associated with lung cancer risk in a dose-response manner (Ptrend  = 5.63×10−6). Further functional assay showed that lung cancer tissues carrying rs1255722AA variant genotype had a significantly lower mRNA level of PPP2R5E compared with tissues carrying GG/GA genotypes. However, such effect was not observed for the other SNPs and other combinations. Our findings suggested that the two functional variants in PPP2R1A and PPP2R5E and their combination are associated with lung cancer risk in Chinese, which may be valuable biomarkers to predict risk of lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3812212  PMID: 24204789
10.  Association between MGMT Promoter Methylation and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72633.
O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) is one of most important DNA repair enzyme against common carcinogens such as alkylate and tobacco. Aberrant promoter methylation of the gene is frequently observed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the importance of epigenetic inactivation of the gene in NSCLC published in the literature showed inconsistence. We quantified the association between MGMT promoter methylation and NSCLC using a meta-analysis method.
We systematically reviewed studies of MGMT promoter methylation and NSCLC in PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid, ISI Web of Science, Elsevier and CNKI databases and quantified the association between MGMT promoter methylation and NSCLC using meta-analysis method. Odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to evaluate the strength of association. Potential sources of heterogeneity were assessed by subgroup analysis and meta-regression.
A total of 18 studies from 2001 to 2011, with 1, 160 tumor tissues and 970 controls, were involved in the meta-analysis. The frequencies of MGMT promote methylation ranged from 1.5% to 70.0% (median, 26.1%) in NSCLC tissue and 0.0% to 55.0% (median, 2.4%) in non-cancerous control, respectively. The summary of OR was 4.43 (95% CI: 2.85, 6.89) in the random-effects model. With stratification by potential source of heterogeneity, the OR was 20.45 (95% CI: 5.83, 71.73) in heterogeneous control subgroup, while it was 4.16 (95% CI: 3.02, 5.72) in the autologous control subgroup. The OR was 5.31 (95% CI: 3.00, 9.41) in MSP subgroup and 3.06 (95% CI: 1.75, 5.33) in Q-MSP subgroup.
This meta-analysis identified a strong association between methylation of MGMT gene and NSCLC. Prospective studies should be required to confirm the results in the future.
PMCID: PMC3784462  PMID: 24086261
11.  A genetic variation of the p38β promoter region is correlated with an increased risk of sporadic colorectal cancer 
Oncology Letters  2013;6(1):3-8.
p38 plays a critical role in the proliferation, survival, migration and metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. The present study assessed the correlation between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the p38β promoter region (rs2235356, -1628A>G) and the predisposition of individuals to sporadic CRC in a case-control study. A genotyping method was developed to detect this SNP, using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). It was revealed that the -1628G variant allele was correlated with an increased risk of CRC (OR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.60–2.47; P<0.0001). An in silico analysis revealed several transcription factors that either acquired or lost the ability to bind to -1628AA in the p38β promoter region due to the SNP. Therefore, this allelic variant may be a genetic modifier for CRC susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3742754  PMID: 23946768
case-control study; colorectal cancer; p38β; single nucleotide polymorphisms
12.  Effect of EME1 exon variant Ile350Thr on risk and early onset of breast cancer in southern Chinese women 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2013;27(3):193-201.
Essential meiotic endonuclease 1 homolog 1 (EME1) is a key DNA repair protein that participates in the recognition and repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Deficiency of the EME1 gene can lead to spontaneous genomic instability and thus contribute to tumorgenesis. We hypothesized that the exon variants of EME1 confer genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. In a case-control study of 748 breast cancer patients and 778 normal controls, we analyzed the association between two exon variants of EME1 (i.e.,Ile350Thr: rs12450550T > C and Glu69Asp: rs3760413T > G) and breast cancer risk. We found that compared to the common Ile/Ile genotype, the Thr variant genotypes (Thr/Ile + Thr/Thr) conferred a 1.47-fold increased risk of breast cancer (OR=1.47, 95% CI=1.13-1.92). The variant Ile350Thr was also associated with early onset of breast cancer (r = -0.116, P = 0.002). The mean age of onset was 44.4 years for Thr/Thr genotype carriers and 46.5 years for Thr/Ile genotype carriers, which was significantly lower than that (49.4 years) for Ile/Ile genotype carriers (P = 0.006). Moreover, no significant association was observed between the Glu69Asp variant and breast cancer risk. Our findings suggest that the EME1 variant Ile350Thr contributes to an increased risk and early onset of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3664725  PMID: 23720674
EME1; exon variant; breast cancer; early onset
13.  Mitogen/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Kinase-5 Promoter Region Polymorphisms Affect the Risk of Sporadic Colorectal Cancer in a Southern Chinese Population 
DNA and Cell Biology  2012;31(3):341-348.
Mitogen/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase-5 (MEK5), which belongs to a network of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, play a pivotal role in carcinogenesis. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether variants in the MEK5 gene promoter were involved in susceptivity of individuals to sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present hospital-based case–control study of 737 patients with sporadic CRC and 703 healthy control subjects in a southern Chinese population, the two polymorphisms of MEK5 promoter (i.e., rs7172582C>T and rs3743354T>C) were genotyped by TaqMan assay. There were significant differences between cases and controls in the genotype and allele distribution of the MEK5 gene rs3743354T>C polymorphism. The rs3743354 CC genotype was associated with a significantly decreased risk of CRC when compared with the TT genotype (adjusted odds ratios [ORs]=0.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24–0.77). Compared to the T allele, a significant correlation was detected between the presence of the C allele and decreased risk of CRC (adjusted OR=0.79; 95% CI, 0.61–0.94). The decreased risk of CRC associated with rs3743354 variant genotypes (i.e., CT+CC) was found in the smoker subgroup (adjusted OR=0.63; 95% CI=0.45–0.88). Further, environmental factors, including smoking and drinking, interacted with rs3743354C variant genotypes to reduce CRC risk. Western blot analysis showed that the levels of MEK5 protein in sporadic CRC neoplastic tissues and adjacent normal colorectal epithelium tissues were lower in the carriers of rs3743354 CC genotypes than that in those with rs3743354 TT genotypes or those with rs3743354 TC genotypes. However, no significant association was found between the rs7172582C>T polymorphism and risk of CRC. These data indicate that the rs3743354 polymorphism in the MEK5 promoter may affect the risk of developing CRC.
PMCID: PMC3300074  PMID: 21861603
14.  Functional Polymorphisms of CHRNA3 Predict Risks of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Lung Cancer in Chinese 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46071.
Recently, several genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many susceptible single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer which are two closely related diseases. Among those SNPs, some of them are shared by both the diseases, reflecting there is possible genetic similarity between the diseases. Here we tested the hypothesis that whether those shared SNPs are common predictor for risks or prognosis of COPD and lung cancer. Two SNPs (rs6495309 and rs1051730) located in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 3 (CHRNA3) gene were genotyped in 1511 patients with COPD, 1559 lung cancer cases and 1677 controls in southern and eastern Chinese populations. We found that the rs6495309CC and rs6495309CT/CC variant genotypes were associated with increased risks of COPD (OR = 1.32, 95% C.I. = 1.14–1.54) and lung cancer (OR = 1.57; 95% CI = 1.31–1.87), respectively. The rs6495309CC genotype contributed to more rapid decline of annual Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in both COPD cases and controls (P<0.05), and it was associated with advanced stages of COPD (P = 0.033); the rs6495309CT/CC genotypes conferred a poor survival for lung cancer (HR = 1.41, 95%CI = 1.13–1.75). The luciferase assays further showed that nicotine and other tobacco chemicals had diverse effects on the luciferase activity of the rs6495309C or T alleles. However, none of these effects were found for another SNP, rs1051730G>A. The data show a statistical association and suggest biological plausibility that the rs6495309T>C polymorphism contributed to increased risks and poor prognosis of both COPD and lung cancer.
PMCID: PMC3463594  PMID: 23056235
15.  Association between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Lung Cancer: A Case-Control Study in Southern Chinese and a Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e46144.
Lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) share a common risk factor in cigarette smoking and a large portion of patients with lung cancer suffer from COPD synchronously. We therefore hypothesized that COPD is an independent risk factor for lung cancer. Our aim was to investigate the intrinsic linkage of COPD (or emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma) and lung cancer.
The present hospital-based case-control study included 1,069 patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer and 1,132 age frequency matched cancer-free controls. The odds ratios (ORs) for the associations between each previous pulmonary disease and lung cancer were estimated with logistic regression models, adjusting for age, sex, family history of cancer, BMI and pack year smoking. In meta-analysis, the pooled effects of previous pulmonary diseases were analyzed with random effects models; and stratification analyses were conducted on smoking status and ethnicity.
In the case-control study, previous COPD was associated with the odds for increased risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00∼1.68); so were emphysema (OR = 1.55, 95%CI = 1.03∼2.32) and chronic bronchitis (OR = 1.22, 95%CI = 0.99∼1.67); while asthma was associated with odds for decreased risk of lung cancer (OR = 0.29, 95%CI = 0.16∼0.53). These associations were more pronounced in smokers (P<.05 for all strata), but not in non-smokers. In meta-analysis, 35 studies (22,010 cases and 44,438 controls) were identified. COPD was significantly associated with the odds for increased risk of lung cancer (pooled OR = 2.76; 95% CI = 1.85–4.11), so were emphysema (OR = 3.02; 95% CI = 2.41–3.79) and chronic bronchitis (OR = 1.88; 95% CI = 1.49–2.36); and these associations were more pronounced in smokers than in non-smokers (P<.001 respectively). No significant association was observed for asthma.
Previous COPD could increase the risk of lung cancer, especially in smokers.
PMCID: PMC3460937  PMID: 23029414
16.  CD44 rs13347 C>T polymorphism predicts breast cancer risk and prognosis in Chinese populations 
Breast Cancer Research : BCR  2012;14(4):R105.
It has been demonstrated that the interplay of adhesion molecule CD44 and its ligands can regulate cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion, as well as tumor-associated angiogenesis and is related to breast cancer patient survival. In this two-stage, case control study, we determined whether common functional tagSNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) are associated with breast cancer risk and prognosis.
Five tagSNPs of CD44 (rs10836347C>T, rs13347C>T, rs1425802A>G, rs11821102G>A, rs713330T>C) were selected and genotyped in 1,853 breast cancer patients and 1,992 healthy control subjects in Eastern and Southern populations. Potential function of rs13347C>T and association between this variation and breast cancer were further studied.
Compared with the most common rs13347CC genotype, variant genotypes (CT and TT) increased an individual's susceptibility to breast cancer, especially in estrogen receptor (ER) negative patients (odds ratio (OR) = 1.37, 95%CI = 1.17 to 1.59 for ER positive patients; OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 2.00 to 2.80 for ER negative patients). We also found that rs13347CT+ TT genotypes predicts lower five-year survival rate (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.09 to 3.15, P = 0.023), with the lowest survival probability in ER negative T allele carriers. Furthermore, our reporter assay findings, although preliminary and rather modest, showed that miR-509-3p may suppress CD44 expression more strongly in C allele carriers than T allele carriers (P < 0.01). Similarly, rs13347 variant genotypes (CT and TT) carriers were shown to have more CD44 expression than CC carriers in both immunohistochemistry (P < 0.001) and western blotting (P = 0.001) results.
These findings suggest that CD44 rs13347C>T polymorphism may affect breast cancer development and prognosis by increasing CD44 expression.
PMCID: PMC3680922  PMID: 22788972
17.  A Common Genetic Variant (97906C>A) of DAB2IP/AIP1 Is Associated with an Increased Risk and Early Onset of Lung Cancer in Chinese Males 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26944.
DOC-2/DAB2 interactive protein (DAB2IP) is a novel identified tumor suppressor gene that inhibits cell growth and facilitates cell apoptosis. One genetic variant in DAB2IP gene was reported to be associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer recently. Since DAB2IP involves in the development of lung cancer and low expression of DAB2IP are observed in lung cancer, we hypothesized that the variations in DAB2IP gene can increase the genetic susceptibility to lung cancer. In a case-control study of 1056 lung cancer cases and 1056 sex and age frequency-matched cancer-free controls, we investigated the association between two common polymorphisms in DAB2IP gene (−1420T>G, rs7042542; 97906C>A, rs1571801) and the risk of lung cancer. We found that compared with the 97906CC genotypes, carriers of variant genotypes (97906AC+AA) had a significant increased risk of lung cancer (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.33, 95%CI = 1.04–1.70, P = 0.023) and the number of variant (risk) allele worked in a dose-response manner (Ptrend = 0.0158). Further stratification analysis showed that the risk association was more pronounced in subjects aged less than 60 years old, males, non-smokers, non-drinkers, overweight groups and in those with family cancer history in first or second-degree relatives, and the 97906A interacted with overweight on lung cancer risk. We further found the number of risk alleles (97906A allele) were negatively correlated with early diagnosis age of lung cancer in male patients (P = 0.003). However, no significant association was observed on the −1420T>G polymorphism. Our data suggested that the 97906A variant genotypes are associated with the increased risk and early onset of lung cancer, particularly in males.
PMCID: PMC3202597  PMID: 22046421
18.  The functional promoter polymorphism (−842G>C) in the PIN1 gene is associated with decreased risk of breast cancer in non-Hispanic white women 55 years and younger 
PIN1, an isomerase that causes conformational changes in proteins, plays an important role in mammary epithelial cell growth both physiologically and pathologically. Thus, genetic variants in the PIN1 gene may alter protein function and cancer risk. We have previously demonstrated an association between a PIN1 promoter variant (−842G>C; rs2233678) and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, a finding supported by additional functional data. In the present study, we genotyped two promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (−842G>C, rs2233678 and −667T>C, rs2233679) and one synonymous SNP (Gln33Gln; G>A, rs2233682) in exon 2 to evaluate their associations with risk of sporadic breast cancer in non-Hispanic white women 55 years and younger. We found that the carriers of −842C variant alleles had decreased risk of breast cancer with an adjusted odd ratio (OR) of 0.67 and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.50–0.90. This reduced risk was more evident in women after reproductive age of 45 (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.42–0.93), ever-smokers (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.36–0.88), and ever-drinkers (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45–0.99). No such associations were observed for PIN1 −667T>C and PIN1 Gln33Gln. However, the haplotypes of these three SNPs were also associated with reduced risk of breast cancer. In conclusion, the PIN1 polymorphisms may contribute to the etiology of sporadic breast cancer in non-Hispanic white women 55 years and younger. Further validation in large population-based studies is needed.
PMCID: PMC2883663  PMID: 20033770
Genetic susceptibility; Molecular epidemiology; PIN1; Breast cancer
19.  NFκB1 and NFκBIA Polymorphisms Are Associated with Increased Risk for Sporadic Colorectal Cancer in a Southern Chinese Population 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21726.
Nuclear factor κB (NFκB) plays a key role in the regulation of apoptosis. The function of NFκB is inhibited by binding to NFκB inhibitor (IκB), and disruption of the balance of NFκB and IκB is related to the development of many diseases, including tumors. Therefore, we hypothesized that the NFκB1 (-94del/insATTG) and NFκBIA (2758 A>G) polymorphisms were associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility.
In a hospital-based case–control study of 1001 CRC patients and 1005 cancer-free controls frequency matched by age and sex, we genotyped polymorphisms using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method and performed luciferase assays and Western blotting analysis to identify whether genetic variants in NFκBIA alter its gene expressions and functions and thus cancer risk.
We found that both NFκB1-94 ins/delATTG and NFκBIA 2758 A>G polymorphisms were correlated with CRC risk (OR = 1.47; 95%CI = 1.14–1.86, and OR = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.14–1.66, respectively). Furthermore, when evaluated these two polymorphisms together, the combined genotypes with 2 variant (risk) alleles (2758GG and -94ins/ins+del/ins) were associated with an increased risk of CRC (OR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.23–2.38) compared to 0 variant, and the significant trend for 2 variant (risk) alleles were more pronounced among subgroups of aged <60 years, women, never drinkers, never smokers, persons with a normal BMI and those with a family history of cancer(Ptrend<0.01). Moreover, luciferase assays showed that the G allele in the 3′UTR significantly decreased NFκBIA mRNA stability and the A allele regulation by miRNA449a in vitro and that the NFκBIA protein expression levels of the AA+AG variant carriers were significantly higher in peritumoral tissues than those of the 2758GG genotype.
NFκB1 and NFκBIA polymorphisms appear to jointly contribute to risk of CRC. These two variants may be a genetic modifier for CRC susceptibility in this southern Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC3128094  PMID: 21738780
20.  The 6-nucleotide deletion variant in the CASP8 promoter region is inversely associated with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck 
Caspase 8 is an apoptosis-related cysteine peptidase involved in the death receptor pathway and likely in the mitochondrial pathway. A CASP8 promoter-region 6-nucleotide deletion/insertion (-652 6N ins/del) and a coding region D302H polymorphism are reportedly important in cancer development, but no reported study has assessed the associations of these variations with risk of head and neck cancer. In a hospital-based study of non-Hispanic whites, we genotyped CASP8 -652 6N del and 302H variants in 1,023 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and 1,052 cancer-free controls. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression models. The CASP8 -652 6N del variant genotypes or haplotypes were inversely associated with SCCHN risk (adjusted OR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.57–0.85 for the ins/del+del/del genotypes compared with ins/ins genotype; adjusted OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.55–0.97 for the del-D haplotype compared with the ins-D haplotype). Furthermore, the number of the CASP8 -652 6N del (but not 302H) variant allele tended to correlate with increased levels of camptothecin-induced p53-mediated apoptosis in T lymphocytes from 170 cancer-free controls. We concluded that the CASP8 -652 6N del variant allele may contribute to the risk of developing SCCHN in non-Hispanic white populations. Further validation by population-based case-control studies and rigorous mechanistic studies is warranted.
PMCID: PMC2818282  PMID: 20086182
apoptosis; cancer risk; caspase; cell death; genetic susceptibility
21.  Genetic variants in the H2AFX promoter region are associated with risk of sporadic breast cancer in non-Hispanic white women aged ≤55 years 
The histone protein family member X (H2AFX) is important in maintaining chromatin structure and genetic stability. Genetic variants in H2AFX may alter protein functions and thus cancer risk. In this case-control study, we genotyped four common single nucleotide polymorphisms (i.e., −1654A > G [rs643788], −1420G > A [rs8551], and −1187T > C [rs7759] in the H2AFX promoter region and 1057C > T [rs7350] in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR)) in 467 patients with sporadic breast cancer and 488 cancer-free controls. All female subjects were non-Hispanic whites aged ≤55 years. We found that significantly increased risk of breast cancer was associated with variant genotypes in the H2AFX promoter: adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.38–2.34 for −1654AG/GG; OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.07–1.83 for −1420GA/AA; and OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.26–2.16 for −1187TC/CC. Furthermore, the number of variant alleles in the promoter haplotypes was associated with increased risks of breast cancer in a dose-response manner (OR = 6.08, 95% CI = 3.25–11.38; OR = 6.83, 95% CI = 3.83–12.18; and OR = 23.61, 95% CI = 3.95–140.99 for one, two, and three variant alleles, respectively) (Ptrend < 0.0001). Age at onset of breast cancer significantly decreased as the number of variant alleles increased (Ptrend = 0.024). However, these effects were not observed in the 3′UTR 1057C > T polymorphism. Therefore, we believe that H2AFX promoter polymorphisms may contribute to the etiology of sporadic breast cancer in young non-Hispanic white women. Larger association studies and related functional studies are warranted to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3030478  PMID: 17851762
Case–control; DNA repair; Double strand break; Genetic susceptibility; Molecular epidemiology
22.  Community based integrated intervention for prevention and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Guangdong, China: cluster randomised controlled trial 
Objective To evaluate the effects of a community based integrated intervention for early prevention and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in China.
Design Cluster randomised controlled trial.
Setting Eight healthcare units in two communities.
Participants Of 1062 people aged 40-89, 872 (101 with COPD and 771 without COPD) who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria were allocated to the intervention or the usual care programmes.
Intervention Participants randomly assigned to integrated intervention (systematic health education, intensive and individualised intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation) or usual care.
Main outcome measures Annual rate of decline in forced expiratory rate in one second (FEV1) before use of bronchodilator.
Results Annual rate of decline in FEV1 was significantly lower in the intervention community than the control community, with an adjusted difference of 19 ml/year (95% confidence interval 3 to 36) and 0.9% (0.1% to 1.8%) of predicted values (all P<0.05), as well as a lower annual rate of decline in FEV1/FVC (forced vital capacity) ratio (adjusted difference 0.6% (0.1% to 1.2%) P=0.029). There were also higher rates of smoking cessation (21% v 8%, P<0.004) and lower cumulative death rates from all causes (1% v 3%, P<0.009) in the intervention community than in the control community during the four year follow-up. Improvements in knowledge of COPD and smoking hazards, outdoor air quality, environmental tobacco smoke, and working conditions were also achieved (all P<0.05). The difference in cumulative incidence rate of COPD (both around 4%) and cumulative death rate from COPD (2% v 11%) did not reach significance between the two communities.
Conclusions A community based integrated intervention can have a significant impact on the prevention and management of COPD, mainly reflected in the annual rate of decline in FEV1.
Trial registration Chinese Clinical Trials Registration (ChiCTR-TRC-00000532).
PMCID: PMC2995286  PMID: 21123342
23.  Association between the Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4 +49G > A polymorphism and cancer risk: a meta-analysis 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:522.
As a key gene in the immunosurveillance of cell malignancy, Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4 is an important negative regulator of T cell activation and proliferation. The CTLA-4 +49G > A polymorphism is one of the most commonly studied polymorphisms in this gene due to its association with cancer risks, but previous results have been conflicting.
We preformed a meta-analysis using 22 eligible case-control studies (including 32 datasets) with a total of 11,273 patients and 13,179 controls to summarize the existing data on the association between the CTLA-4 +49G > A polymorphism and cancer risk.
Compared with the common CTLA-4 +49G > A GG genotype, the carriers of variant genotypes (CTLA-4 +49 GC/CC) had a 1.24-fold elevated risk of cancer (95% CI = 1.18-1.32, P < 0.05) under the dominant genetic model, as estimated using a fixed effect model. The effect of the CTLA-4 +49G > A polymorphism was further evaluated using stratification analysis. In four breast cancer studies, patients with the variant genotypes had a significantly increased risk of breast cancer (OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.17-1.48, P < 0.00001). A similar result was found in three skin cancer studies (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.10-1.52, P = 0.001). In 26 solid tumor studies, subjects with the variant genotypes had a significantly higher risk of developing solid tumors (OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.18-1.33, P < 0.00001) compared with the 6 non-solid tumor studies (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.79-1.48, P = 0.62). Patients with variant genotypes had significantly increased risk of non-epithelial tumors and epithelial tumors, with ORs of 1.23 (95% CI = 1.14-1.32, P < 0.00001) and 1.29 (95% CI = 1.17-1.41, P < 0.00001), respectively. It was also demonstrated that the increased risk of cancer associated with CTLA-4 +49G > A variant genotypes was more pronounced in Caucasians (OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.13-1.47, P = 0.0002), Asians (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.16-1.32, P < 0.00001) and Chinese (OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.15-1.31, P < 0.00001).
Our meta-analysis suggests that the CTLA-4 +49G > A polymorphism genotypes (GA + AA) might be associated with an increased risk of cancer, especially in Caucasians and Chinese.
PMCID: PMC2958938  PMID: 20920330
24.  Biomass fuels are the probable risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in rural South China 
Thorax  2007;62(10):889-897.
There is increasing evidence for a possible association between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the use of biomass fuels for cooking and heating in developing countries. Data on the prevalence of COPD and objective measurements of indoor pollution from biomass fuel have not been widely available from China. A study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of COPD in two study communities in Guangdong province in China and to measure the association between COPD and indoor biomass fuel air pollution.
A cluster disproportional random sampling survey was performed in populations aged over 40 years in urban (Liwang) and rural (Yunyan) areas in Guangdong, China. Spirometry was performed in all subjects and a post‐bronchodilator ratio of the forced expiratory volume in 1 s to forced vital capacity of <0.70 was defined as COPD. Measurements of indoor and outdoor air pollutants were also performed in a random sample of households.
The overall prevalence of COPD in the two areas (Liwang and Yunyan) was 9.4%. The prevalence of COPD in both the whole population and a subpopulation of non‐smoking women in rural Yunyan was significantly higher than in urban Liwang (12.0% vs 7.4%, and 7.2% vs 2.5%, respectively). The use of biomass fuel was higher in rural Yunyan than in urban Liwang (88.1% vs 0.7%). Univariate analysis showed a significant association between COPD and exposure to biomass fuel for cooking. Multivariate analysis showed a positive association between COPD and urban/rural area (surrogate for fuel type and local exhaust ventilation in kitchen) after adjustment for sex, age group, body mass index, education, occupational exposure, respiratory disease in family, smoking status, life quality and cough in childhood; similar results were found in non‐smoking women. Pollutants measurements showed that concentrations of carbon monoxide, particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ⩽10 μm, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide in the kitchen during biomass fuel combustion were significantly higher than those during LPG combustion.
Indoor pollutants from biomass fuels may be an important risk factor for COPD in rural South China.
PMCID: PMC2094241  PMID: 17483137
25.  A novel functional variant (−842G>C) in the PIN1 promoter contributes to decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck by diminishing the promoter activity 
Carcinogenesis  2009;30(10):1717-1721.
PIN1, a new peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase, regulates the conformation of Pro-directed phosphorylation sites, revealing a new postphosphorylation regulatory mechanism. PIN1-induced conformational changes potentiate multiple oncogenic signaling pathways, and PIN1 overexpression is reported as a prevalent and specific event in human cancers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that common polymorphisms in the coding and promoter regions of PIN1 are associated with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). We genotyped three selected PIN1 polymorphisms (−842G>C, −667T>C and Gln33Gln) in a hospital-based case–control study of 1006 patients with SCCHN and 1007 cancer-free control subjects. We found that the −842C variant genotypes were associated with decreased risk for SCCHN [Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.74; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.59–0.93 for the CG genotype, OR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.34–2.01 for the CC genotype and OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.59–0.93 for CG+CC genotypes, compared with the GG genotype]. However, no altered risks were observed for −667T>C and Gln33Gln polymorphisms. Further experiments of the reporter gene expression driven by the allelic PIN1 promoter showed that the −842G allele had a higher activity than that driven by the −842C allele, suggesting that the −842C allele was associated with a reduced transcriptional activity, a finding consistent with a reduced risk observed in the case–control analysis. Large prospective studies of diverse ethnic groups and diverse cancer sites are warranted to validate our findings.
PMCID: PMC2757547  PMID: 19625347

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