The Ccs3 locus on mouse chromosome 3 regulates differential susceptibility of A/J (A, susceptible) and C57BL/6J (B6, resistant) mouse strains to chemically-induced colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we report the high-resolution positional mapping of the gene underlying the Ccs3 effect. Using phenotype/genotype correlation in a series of 33 AcB/BcA recombinant congenic mouse strains, as well as in groups of backcross populations bearing unique recombinant chromosomes for the interval, and in subcongenic strains, we have delineated the maximum size of the Ccs3 physical interval to a ∼2.15 Mb segment. This interval contains 12 annotated transcripts. Sequencing of positional candidates in A and B6 identified many either low-priority coding changes or non-protein coding variants. We found a unique copy number variant (CNV) in intron 15 of the Nfkb1 gene. The CNV consists of two copies of a 54 bp sequence immediately adjacent to the exon 15 splice site, while only one copy is found in CRC-susceptible A. The Nfkb1 protein (p105/p50) expression is much reduced in A tumors compared to normal A colonic epithelium as analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Studies in primary macrophages from A and B6 mice demonstrate a marked differential activation of the NfκB pathway by lipopolysaccharide (kinetics of stimulation and maximum levels of phosphorylated IκBα), with a more robust activation being associated with resistance to CRC. NfκB has been previously implicated in regulating homeostasis and inflammatory response in the intestinal mucosa. The interval contains another positional candidate Slc39a8 that is differentially expressed in A vs B6 colons, and that has recently been associated in CRC tumor aggressiveness in humans.
Variants in regulatory regions are predicted to play an important role in disease susceptibility of common diseases. Polymorphisms mapping to microRNA (miRNA) binding sites have been shown to disrupt the ability of miRNAs to target genes resulting in differential mRNA and protein expression. Skin tumor susceptibility 5 (Skts5) was identified as a locus conferring susceptibility to chemically-induced skin cancer in NIH/Ola by SPRET/Outbred F1 backcrosses. To determine if polymorphisms between the strains which mapped to putative miRNA binding sites in the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of genes at Skts5 influenced expression, we conducted a systematic evaluation of 3′UTRs of candidate genes across this locus. Nine genes had polymorphisms in their 3′UTRs which fit the linkage data and eight of these contained polymorphisms suspected to interfere with or introduce miRNA binding. 3′UTRs of six genes, Bcap29, Dgkb, Hbp1, Pik3cg, Twistnb, and Tspan13 differentially affected luciferase expression, but did not appear to be differentially regulated by the evaluated miRNAs predicted to bind to only one of the two isoforms. 3′UTRs from four additional genes chosen from the locus that fit less stringent criteria were evaluated. Ifrd1 and Etv1 showed differences and contained polymorphisms predicted to disrupt or create miRNA binding sites but showed no difference in regulation by the miRNAs tested. In summary, multiple 3′UTRs with putative functional variants between susceptible and resistant strains of mice influenced differential expression independent of predicted miRNA binding.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified around 60 common variants associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), but these loci only explain a fraction of the heritability of MS. Some missing heritability may be caused by rare variants that have been suggested to play an important role in the aetiology of complex diseases such as MS. However current genetic and statistical methods for detecting rare variants are expensive and time consuming. ‘Population-based linkage analysis’ (PBLA) or so called identity-by-descent (IBD) mapping is a novel way to detect rare variants in extant GWAS datasets. We employed BEAGLE fastIBD to search for rare MS variants utilising IBD mapping in a large GWAS dataset of 3,543 cases and 5,898 controls. We identified a genome-wide significant linkage signal on chromosome 19 (LOD = 4.65; p = 1.9×10−6). Network analysis of cases and controls sharing haplotypes on chromosome 19 further strengthened the association as there are more large networks of cases sharing haplotypes than controls. This linkage region includes a cluster of zinc finger genes of unknown function. Analysis of genome wide transcriptome data suggests that genes in this zinc finger cluster may be involved in very early developmental regulation of the CNS. Our study also indicates that BEAGLE fastIBD allowed identification of rare variants in large unrelated population with moderate computational intensity. Even with the development of whole-genome sequencing, IBD mapping still may be a promising way to narrow down the region of interest for sequencing priority.
Recent studies have revealed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation-related breast cancers show frequent overexpression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), the key regulator of the hypoxia response. However, the question remained whether hypoxia is a late stage bystander or a true carcinogenetic event in patients with hereditary predisposition. We therefore studied HIF-1α overexpression in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), an established precursor of invasive breast cancer.
We used immunohistochemistry to examine the expression of the hypoxia markers HIF-1α, CAIX and Glut-1 in DCIS and available invasive carcinoma lesions of 32 BRCA1, 16 BRCA2 and 77 non-BRCA mutation-related cases. HIF-1α expression was detected in 63% of BRCA1 and 62% of BRCA2 as compared to 34% of non-BRCA mutation-related DCIS cases (p = 0.005). CAIX overexpression was present in 56% of BRCA1 and 44% of BRCA2 as compared to 6% of non-BRCA mutation-related DCIS cases (p = 0.000). Glut-1 overexpression was observed in 59% of BRCA1, 75% of BRCA2 and 67% of non-BRCA mutation-related DCIS cases (p = 0.527). Overall, HIF-1α, CAIX and Glut-1 expression in BRCA mutation-related DCIS matched the expression in the accompanying invasive cancers in 60% or more of cases. In non-BRCA mutation-related cases the expression of the hypoxia markers in DCIS matched the expression in the invasive part in 46% or more of the cases.
Although BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation-related invasive breast cancers are different in many ways, the hypoxia-related proteins HIF-1α, CAIX and Glut-1 are expressed in both DCIS and invasive lesions of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. This suggests that hypoxia may already play a role in the DCIS stage of BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation related breast carcinogenesis, and may also drive cancer progression. Hypoxia-related proteins are therefore putative targets for therapy and molecular imaging for early detection and monitoring therapy response in BRCA mutation patients.
The identification of the two most prevalent susceptibility genes in breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, was the beginning of a sustained effort to uncover new genes explaining the missing heritability in this disease. Today, additional high, moderate and low penetrance genes have been identified in breast cancer, such as P53, PTEN, STK11, PALB2 or ATM, globally accounting for around 35 percent of the familial cases. In the present study we used massively parallel sequencing to analyze 7 BRCA1/BRCA2 negative families, each having at least 6 affected women with breast cancer (between 6 and 10) diagnosed under the age of 60 across generations. After extensive filtering, Sanger sequencing validation and co-segregation studies, variants were prioritized through either control-population studies, including up to 750 healthy individuals, or case-control assays comprising approximately 5300 samples. As a result, a known moderate susceptibility indel variant (CHEK2 1100delC) and a catalogue of 11 rare variants presenting signs of association with breast cancer were identified. All the affected genes are involved in important cellular mechanisms like DNA repair, cell proliferation and survival or cell cycle regulation. This study highlights the need to investigate the role of rare variants in familial cancer development by means of novel high throughput analysis strategies optimized for genetically heterogeneous scenarios. Even considering the intrinsic limitations of exome resequencing studies, our findings support the hypothesis that the majority of non-BRCA1/BRCA2 breast cancer families might be explained by the action of moderate and/or low penetrance susceptibility alleles.
The progesterone receptor (PgR), a sex steroid hormone receptor that binds progesterone is critical for normal breast development. The PgR (+331G/A, rs10895068) promoter polymorphism is associated with cancer risk possibly by altering the expression of progesterone receptor B isoform. Previous studies have provided inconsistent results. To validate the association between the PgR +331G/A polymorphism and female reproductive cancer risk (breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer), we performed a meta-analysis of 19 studies (19,978 cases and 24,525 controls) by using the CMA Version 2 software. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the strength of the associations. The overall results indicated that the variant allele and genotypes were associated with a mild increase in overall female reproductive cancer risk (A vs. G: OR = 1.063, 95% CI = 1.001–1.129; AA+AG vs. GG: OR = 1.067, 95% CI = 1.002–1.136). The results suggest that the PgR +331G/A polymorphism might be associated with an increased female reproductive cancer risk.
The incidence of penile cancer varies between populations but is rare in developed nations. Penile cancer is associated with a number of established risk factors and associated diseases including phimosis with chronic inflammation, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, poor hygiene and smoking. The objective of this study was to identify genes related to this type of cancer. The detection of HPV was analyzed in 47 penile squamous cell carcinoma samples. HPV DNA was detected in 48.9% of penile squamous cell carcinoma cases. High-risk HPV were present in 42.5% of cases and low-risk HPV were detected in 10.6% of penile squamous cell carcinomas. The RaSH approach identified differential expression of Annexin A1 (ANXA1), p16, RPL6, PBEF1 and KIAA1033 in high-risk HPV positive penile carcinoma; ANXA1 and p16 were overexpressed in penile squamous cells positive for high-risk HPVs compared to normal penile samples by qPCR. ANXA1 and p16 proteins were significantly more expressed in the cells from high-risk HPV-positive penile carcinoma as compared to HPV-negative tumors (p<0.0001) independently of the subtype of the carcinoma. Overexpression of ANXA1 might be mediated by HPV E6 in penile squamous cell carcinoma of patients with high-risk HPVs, suggesting that this gene plays an important role in penile cancer.
Alopecia areata (AA) is a common autoimmune disorder mostly presented as round patches of hair loss and subclassified into alopecia totalis/alopecia universalis (AT/AU) based on the area of alopecia. Although AA is relatively common, only 5% of AA patients progress to AT/AU, which affect the whole scalp and whole body respectively. To determine genetic determinants of this orphan disease, we undertook whole-exome sequencing of 6 samples from AU patients, and 26 variants in immune-related genes were selected as candidates. When an additional 14 AU samples were genotyped for these candidates, 6 of them remained at the level of significance in comparison with 155 Asian controls (p<1.92×10−3). Linkage disequilibrium was observed between some of the most significant SNPs, including rs41559420 of HLA-DRB5 (p<0.001, OR 44.57) and rs28362679 of BTNL2 (p<0.001, OR 30.21). While BTNL2 was reported as a general susceptibility gene of AA previously, HLA-DRB5 has not been implicated in AA. In addition, we found several genetic variants in novel genes (HLA-DMB, TLR1, and PMS2) and discovered an additional locus on HLA-A, a known susceptibility gene of AA. This study provides further evidence for the association of previously reported genes with AA and novel findings such as HLA-DRB5, which might represent a hidden culprit gene for AU.
Sporadic canine colorectal cancers (CRCs) should make excellent models for studying the corresponding human cancers. To molecularly characterize canine CRC, we investigated exonic sequence mutations of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), the best known tumor suppressor gene of human CRC, in 23 sporadic canine colorectal tumors, including 8 adenomas and 15 adenocarcinomas, via exon-resequencing analysis. As a comparison, we also performed the same sequencing analysis on 10 other genes, either located at human 5q22 (the same locus as APC) or 18q21 (also frequently altered in human CRC), or known to play a role in human carcinogenesis. We noted that APC was the most significantly mutated gene in both canine adenomas and adenocarcinomas among the 11 genes examined. Significantly, we detected large deletions of ≥10 bases, many clustered near the mutation cluster region, as well as single or two base deletions in ∼70% canine tumors of both subtypes. These observations indicate that like in the human, APC is also frequently altered in sporadic colorectal tumors in the dog and its alteration is an early event in canine colorectal tumorigenesis. Our study provides further evidence demonstrating the molecular similarity in pathogenesis between sporadic human and canine CRCs. This work, along with our previous copy number abnormality study, supports that sporadic canine CRCs are valid models of human CRCs at the molecular level.
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa is an inherited bullous dermatosis caused by the COL7A1 gene mutation in autosomal dominant or recessive mode. COL7A1 gene encodes type VII collagen – the main component of the anchoring fibrils at the dermal–epidermal junction. Besides the 730 mutations reported, we identified two novel COL7A1 gene mutations in a Chinese family, which caused recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). The diagnosis was established histopathologically and ultrastructurally. After genomic DNA extraction from the peripheral blood sample of all subjects (5 pedigree members and 136 unrelated control individuals), COL7A1 gene screening was performed by polymerase chain reaction amplification and direct DNA sequencing of the whole coding exons and flanking intronic regions. Genetic analysis of the COL7A1 gene in affected individuals revealed compound heterozygotes with identical novel mutations. The maternal mutation is a 2-bp deletion at exon 8 (c.1006_1007delCA), leading to a subsequent reading frame-shift and producing a premature termination codon located 48 amino acids downstream in exon 9 (p.Q336EfsX48), consequently resulting in the truncation of 2561 amino acids downstream. This was only present in two affected brothers, but not in the other unaffected family members. The paternal mutation is a 1-bp deletion occurring at the first base of intron 65 (c.IVS5568+1delG) that deductively changes the strongly conserved GT dinucleotide at the 5′ donor splice site, results in subsequent reading-through into intron 65, and creates a stop codon immediately following the amino acids encoded by exon 65 (GTAA→TAA). This is predicted to produce a truncated protein lacking of 1089 C-terminal amino acids downstream. The latter mutation was found in all family members except one of the two unaffected sisters. Both mutations were observed concurrently only in the two affected brothers. Neither mutation was discovered in 136 unrelated Chinese control individuals. This study reveals novel disease-causing mutations in the COL7A1 gene.
The -93G>A (rs1800734) polymorphism located in the promoter of mismatch repair gene, MLH1, has been identified as a low-penetrance variant for cancer risk. Many published studies have evaluated the association between the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, the results remain conflicting rather than conclusive.
The aim of this study was to assess the association between the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism and the risk of CRC.
To derive a more precise estimation of the association, a meta-analysis of six studies (17,791 cases and 13,782 controls) was performed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the strength of the association. Four of these published studies were performed on subjects of known microsatellite instability (MSI) status. An additional analysis including 742 cases and 10,895 controls was used to assess the association between the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism and the risk of MSI-CRC.
The overall results indicated that the variant genotypes were associated with a significantly increased risk of CRC (AG versus GG: OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.01–1.11; AA/AG versus GG: OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.01–1.11). This increased risk was also found during stratified analysis of MSI status (AA versus GG: OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.94–3.28; AG versus GG: OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.10–1.52; AA/AG versus GG: OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.24–1.68; AA versus AG/GG: OR = 2.29, 95% CI = 1.78–2.96). Egger’s test did not show any evidence of publication bias.
Our results suggest that the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism may contribute to individual susceptibility to CRC and act as a risk factor for MSI-CRC.
Maternal diabetes and high-fat feeding during pregnancy have been linked to later life outcomes in offspring. To investigate the effects of both maternal and paternal hyperglycemia on offspring phenotypes, we utilized an autosomal dominant mouse model of diabetes (hypoinsulinemic hyperglycemia in Akita mice). We determined metabolic and skeletal phenotypes in wildtype offspring of Akita mothers and fathers.
Both maternal and paternal diabetes resulted in phenotypic changes in wildtype offspring. Phenotypic changes were more pronounced in male offspring than in female offspring. Maternal hyperglycemia resulted in metabolic and skeletal phenotypes in male wildtype offspring. Decreased bodyweight and impaired glucose tolerance were observed as were reduced whole body bone mineral density and reduced trabecular bone mass.
Phenotypic changes in offspring of diabetic fathers differed in effect size from changes in offspring of diabetic mothers. Male wildtype offspring developed a milder metabolic phenotype, but a more severe skeletal phenotype. Female wildtype offspring of diabetic fathers were least affected.
Both maternal and paternal diabetes led to the development of metabolic and skeletal changes in wildtype offspring, with a greater effect of maternal diabetes on metabolic parameters and of paternal diabetes on skeletal development. The observed changes are unlikely to derive from Mendelian inheritance, since the investigated offspring did not inherit the Akita mutation. While fetal programming may explain the phenotypic changes in offspring exposed to maternal diabetes in-utero, the mechanism underlying the effect of paternal diabetes on wildtype offspring is unclear.
The contribution of adherens junction inactivation, typically by downregulation or mutation of the transmembrane core component E-cadherin, to cancer progression is well recognized. In contrast, the role of the desmosomal cadherin components of the related cell-cell adhesion junction, the desmosome, in cancer development has not been well explored. Here, we use mouse models to probe the functional role of desmosomal cadherins in carcinogenesis. Because mice lacking the desmosomal cadherin Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) have revealed a crucial role for Dsg3 in cell-cell adhesion in stratified epithelia, we investigate the consequence of Dsg3 loss in two models of skin carcinogenesis. First, using Dsg3−/− keratinocytes, we show that these cells display adhesion defects in vitro and compromised tumor growth in allograft assays, suggesting that Dsg3 enables tumor formation in certain settings. In contrast, using an autochthonous model for SCC development in response to chronic UVB treatment, we discover a surprising lack of enhanced tumorigenesis in Dsg3−/− mice relative to controls, unlike mice lacking the desmosomal component Perp. Accordingly, there is no defect in the apoptotic response to UVB or enhanced immune cell infiltration upon Dsg3 loss that could promote tumorigenesis. Thus, Dsg3 does not display a clear function as a tumor suppressor in these mouse skin cancer models. Continued unraveling of the roles of Dsg3 and other desmosomal constituents in carcinogenesis in different contexts will be important for ultimately improving cancer diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment.
VNN1 gene expression levels and the G-137T polymorphism have been associated with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in Mexican American adults. We aim to evaluate the contribution of VNN1 gene expression and the G-137T variant to HDL-C levels and other metabolic traits in Mexican prepubertal children.
VNN1 mRNA expression levels were quantified in peripheral blood leukocytes from 224 unrelated Mexican-Mestizo children aged 6–8 years (107 boys and 117 girls) and were genotyped for the G-137T variant (rs4897612). To account for population stratification, a panel of 10 ancestry informative markers was analyzed. After adjustment for admixture, the TT genotype was significantly associated with lower VNN1 mRNA expression levels (P = 2.9 × 10−5), decreased HDL-C levels (β = −6.19, P = 0.028) and with higher body mass index (BMI) z-score (β = 0.48, P = 0.024) in the total sample. In addition, VNN1 expression showed a positive correlation with HDL-C levels (r = 0.220; P = 0.017) and a negative correlation with BMI z-score (r = −0.225; P = 0.015) only in girls.
Our data suggest that VNN1 gene expression and the G-137T variant are associated with HDL-C levels in Mexican children, particularly in prepubertal girls.
Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) plays a key role in the angiogenesis of human skin. Elevated levels of VEGFA are associated with several pathological conditions, including chronic inflammatory skin diseases and several types of skin cancer. In particular, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin, the second most common skin cancer in the general population, is characterized by invasive growth, pronounced angiogenesis and elevated levels of VEGFA. The processing, turnover and production of VEGFA are extensively regulated at the post-transcriptional level, both by RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs). In the present study, we identified a new miRNA recognition element in a downstream conserved region of the VEGFA 3′-UTR. We confirmed the repressive effect of miR-361-5p on this element in vitro, identifying the first target for this miRNA. Importantly, we found that miR-361-5p levels are inversely correlated with VEGFA expression in SCC and in healthy skin, indicating that miR-361-5p could play a role in cancers.
Mutation of BRAF is a predominant event in cancers with poor prognosis such as melanoma and colorectal cancer. BRAF mutation leads to a constitutive activation of mitogen activated protein kinase pathway which is essential for cell proliferation and tumor progression. Despite tremendous efforts made to target BRAF for cancer treatment, the correlation between BRAF mutation and patient survival is still a matter of controversy.
Clinical studies on the correlation between BRAF mutation and patient survival were retrieved from MEDLINE and EMBASE databases between June 2002 and December 2011. One hundred twenty relevant full text studies were categorized based on study design and cancer type. Publication bias was evaluated for each category and pooled hazard ratio (HR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using random or fixed effect meta-analysis based on the percentage of heterogeneity. Twenty six studies on colorectal cancer (11,773 patients) and four studies on melanoma (674 patients) were included in our final meta-analysis. The average prevalence of BRAF mutation was 9.6% in colorectal cancer, and 47.8% in melanoma reports. We found that BRAF mutation increases the risk of mortality in colorectal cancer patients for more than two times; HR = 2.25 (95% CI, 1.82–2.83). In addition, we revealed that BRAF mutation also increases the risk of mortality in melanoma patients by 1.7 times (95% CI, 1.37–2.12).
We revealed that BRAF mutation is an absolute risk factor for patient survival in colorectal cancer and melanoma.
The BARD1 gene encodes for the BRCA1-associated RING domain (BARD1) protein. Germ line and somatic mutations in BARD1 are found in sporadic breast, ovarian and uterine cancers. There is a plethora of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which may or may not be involved in the onset of female cancers. Hence, before planning a larger population study, it is advisable to sort out the possible functional SNPs. To accomplish this goal, data available in the dbSNP database and different computer programs can be used. To the best of our knowledge, until now there has been no such study on record for the BARD1 gene. Therefore, this study was undertaken to find the functional nsSNPs in BARD1.
2.85% of all SNPs in the dbSNP database were present in the coding regions. SIFT predicted 11 out of 50 nsSNPs as not tolerable and PolyPhen assessed 27 out of 50 nsSNPs as damaging. FastSNP revealed that the rs58253676 SNP in the 3′ UTR may have splicing regulator and enhancer functions. In the 5′ UTR, rs17489363 and rs17426219 may alter the transcriptional binding site. The intronic region SNP rs67822872 may have a medium-high risk level. The protein structures 1JM7, 3C5R and 2NTE were predicted by PDBSum and shared 100% similarity with the BARD1 amino acid sequence. Among the predicted nsSNPs, rs4986841, rs111367604, rs13389423 and rs139785364 were identified as deleterious and damaging by the SIFT and PolyPhen programs. Additionally, I-Mutant showed a decrease in stability for these nsSNPs upon mutation. Finally, the ExPASy-PROSIT program revealed that the predicted deleterious mutations are contained in the ankyrin ring and BRCT domains.
Using the available bioinformatics tools and the data present in the dbSNP database, the four nsSNPs, rs4986841, rs111367604, rs13389423 and rs139785364, were identified as deleterious, reducing the protein stability of BARD1. Hence, these SNPs can be used for the larger population-based studies of female cancers.
Mutations in the hyperparathyroidism type 2 (HRPT2/CDC73) gene and alterations in the parafibromin protein have been established in the majority of parathyroid carcinomas and in subsets of parathyroid adenomas. While it is known that CDC73-mutated parathyroid tumors display specific gene expression changes compared to CDC73 wild-type cases, the molecular cytogenetic profile in CDC73-mutated cases compared to unselected adenomas (with an expected very low frequency of CDC73 mutations) remains unknown. For this purpose, nine parathyroid tumors with established CDC73 gene inactivating mutations (three carcinomas, one atypical adenoma and five adenomas) were analyzed for copy number alterations and loss of heterozygosity using array-comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarrays, respectively. Furthermore, CDC73 gene promoter methylation levels were assessed using bisulfite Pyrosequencing. The panel included seven tumors with single mutation and three with double mutations of the CDC73 gene. The carcinomas displayed copy number alterations in agreement with previous studies, whereas the CDC73-mutated adenomas did not display the same pattern of alterations at loci frequently deleted in unselected parathyroid tumors. Furthermore, gross losses of chromosomal material at 1p and 13 were significantly (p = 0.012) associated with parathyroid carcinomas as opposed to adenomas. Quantitative PCR-based copy number loss regarding CDC73 was observed in three adenomas, while all the carcinomas were diploid or showed copy number gain for CDC73 gene. Hypermethylation of the CDC73 gene promoter was not observed. Our data could suggest that CDC73-mutated parathyroid adenomas exhibit a partly unique cytogenetic profile in addition to that of carcinomas and unselected adenomas. Furthermore, CDC73-mutated carcinomas displayed losses at 1p and 13 which are not seen in CDC73-mutated adenomas, making these regions of interest for further studies regarding malignant properties in tumors from CDC73-mutated cases. However, due to the small sample size, validation of the results in a larger cohort is warranted.
Owing to inconsistent and inconclusive results, we performed a meta-analysis to derive a more precise estimation of the association between miR-499 rs3746444 polymorphism and cancer risk.
A systematic search of the Pubmed, Excerpta Medica Database (Embase) and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM) databases was performed with the last search updated on May 6, 2012. The odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (95%CI) were used to assess the strength of the association. A total of 15 independent studies including 7,188 cases and 8,548 controls were used in the meta-analysis. In the present meta-analysis, we found a significant association between miR-499 rs3746444 polymorphism and cancer risk in the overall analysis (G versus A: OR = 1.10, 95%CI 1.01–1.19, P = 0.03; GG+AG versus AA: OR = 1.15, 95%CI 1.02–1.30, P = 0.02; GG versus AG+AA: OR = 1.07, 95%CI 0.89–1.28, P = 0.50; GG versus AA: OR = 1.13, 95%CI 0.98–1.31, P = 0.09; AG versus AA: OR = 1.16, 95%CI 1.02–1.33, P = 0.03). In the subgroup analysis by ethnicity, miR-499 rs3746444 polymorphism was significantly associated with cancer risk in Asian population. In the subgroup analysis by cancer types, miR-499 rs3746444 polymorphism was significantly associated with breast cancer.
This meta-analysis suggests a significant association between miR-499 rs3746444 polymorphism and cancer risk. Large-scale and well-designed case-control studies are necessary to validate the risk identified in the present meta-analysis.
Aberrant DNA methylation plays important roles in carcinogenesis. However, the functional significance of genome-wide hypermethylation and hypomethylation of gene promoters in carcinogenesis currently remain unclear.
Based on genome-wide methylation data for five cancer types, we showed that genes with promoter hypermethylation were highly consistent in function across different cancer types, and so were genes with promoter hypomethylation. Functions related to “developmental processes” and “regulation of biology processes” were significantly enriched with hypermethylated genes but were depleted of hypomethylated genes. In contrast, functions related to “cell killing” and “response to stimulus”, including immune and inflammatory response, were associated with an enrichment of hypomethylated genes and depletion of hypermethylated genes. We also observed that some families of cytokines secreted by immune cells, such as IL10 family cytokines and chemokines, tended to be hypomethylated in various cancer types. These results provide new hints for understanding the distinct functional roles of genome-wide hypermethylation and hypomethylation of gene promoters in carcinogenesis.
Genes with promoter hypermethylation and hypomethylation are highly consistent in function across different cancer types, respectively, but these two groups of genes tend to be enriched in different functions associated with cancer. Especially, we speculate that hypomethylation of gene promoters may play roles in inducing immunity and inflammation disorders in precancerous conditions, which may provide hints for improving epigenetic therapy and immunotherapy of cancer.
Ethnic variations in breast cancer epidemiology and genetics have necessitated investigation of the spectra of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in different populations. Knowledge of BRCA mutations in Chinese populations is still largely unknown. We conducted a multi-center study to characterize the spectra of BRCA mutations in Chinese breast and ovarian cancer patients from Southern China.
A total of 651 clinically high-risk breast and/or ovarian cancer patients were recruited from the Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry from 2007 to 2011. Comprehensive BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation screening was performed using bi-directional sequencing of all coding exons of BRCA1 and BRCA2. Sequencing results were confirmed by in-house developed full high resolution DNA melting (HRM) analysis. Among the 451 probands analyzed, 69 (15.3%) deleterious BRCA mutations were identified, comprising 29 in BRCA1 and 40 in BRCA2. The four recurrent BRCA1 mutations (c.470_471delCT, c.3342_3345delAGAA, c.5406+1_5406+3delGTA and c.981_982delAT) accounted for 34.5% (10/29) of all BRCA1 mutations in this cohort. The four recurrent BRCA2 mutations (c.2808_2811delACAA, c.3109C>T, c.7436_7805del370 and c.9097_9098insA) accounted for 40% (16/40) of all BRCA2 mutations. Haplotype analysis was performed to confirm 1 BRCA1 and 3 BRCA2 mutations are putative founder mutations. Rapid HRM mutation screening for a panel of the founder mutations were developed and validated.
In this study, our findings suggest that BRCA mutations account for a substantial proportion of hereditary breast/ovarian cancer in Southern Chinese population. Knowing the spectrum and frequency of the founder mutations in this population will assist in the development of a cost-effective rapid screening assay, which in turn facilitates genetic counseling and testing for the purpose of cancer risk assessment.
Microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1) plays an important role in both the activation and detoxification of PAHs, which are carcinogens found in cooked meat and tobacco smoking. Polymorphisms at exons 3 and 4 of the EPHX1 gene have been reported to be associated with variations in EPHX1 activity. The aim of this study is to quantitatively summarize the relationship between EPHX1 polymorphisms and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk.
Two investigators independently searched the Medline, Embase, CNKI, and Chinese Biomedicine Databases for studies published before June 2012. Summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for EPHX1 Tyr113His (rs1051740) and His139Arg (rs2234922) polymorphisms and CRC were calculated in a fixed-effects model and a random-effects model when appropriate.
This meta-analysis yielded 14 case-control studies, which included 13 studies for Tyr113His (6395 cases and 7893 controls) and 13 studies for His139Arg polymorphisms (5375 cases and 6962 controls). Overall, the pooled results indicated that EPHX1 Tyr113His polymorphism was not associated with CRC risk; while the His139Arg polymorphism was significantly associated with decreased CRC risk (Arg/His vs. His/His, OR = 0.90, 95%CI = 0.83–0.98; dominant model, OR = 0.92, 95%CI = 0.85–0.99). The statistically significant association between EPHX1 His139Arg polymorphism and CRC was observed among Caucasians and population-based case-control studies. This association showed little heterogeneity and remained consistently strong when analyses were limited to studies in which genotype frequencies were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, or limited to studies with matched controls. When cumulative meta-analyses of the two associations were conducted by studies’ publication time, the results were persistent and robust.
This meta-analysis suggests that EPHX1 Tyr113His polymorphism may be not associated with CRC development; while the EPHX1 His139Arg polymorphism may have a potential protective effect on CRC.
Sample tracking errors have been and always will be a part of the practical implementation of large experiments. It has recently been proposed that expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) and their associated effects could be used to identify sample mix-ups and this approach has been applied to a number of large population genomics studies to illustrate the prevalence of the problem. We had adopted a similar approach, termed ‘BADGER’, in the METABRIC project. METABRIC is a large breast cancer study that may have been the first in which eQTL-based detection of mismatches was used during the study, rather than after the event, to aid quality assurance. We report here on the particular issues associated with large cancer studies performed using historical samples, which complicate the interpretation of such approaches. In particular we identify the complications of using tumour samples, of considering cellularity and RNA quality, of distinct subgroups existing in the study population (including family structures), and of choosing eQTLs to use. We also present some results regarding the design of experiments given consideration of these matters. The eQTL-based approach to identifying sample tracking errors is seen to be of value to these studies, but requiring care in its implementation.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Caucasians have identified fourteen index single nucleotide polymorphisms (iSNPs) that influence colorectal cancer (CRC) risk.
We investigated the role of eleven iSNPs or surrogate SNPs (sSNPs), in high linkage disequilibrium (LD, r2≥0.8) and within 100 kb vicinity of iSNPs, in 2,000 age- and gender-matched Singapore Chinese (SCH) cases and controls.
Only iSNP rs6983267 at 8q24.21 and sSNPs rs6695584, rs11986063, rs3087967, rs2059254, and rs7226855 at 1q41, 8q23.3, 11q23.1, 16q22.1 and 18q21.1 respectively showed evidence of association with CRC risk, with odds ratios (OR) ranging from 1.13 to 1.40. sSNP rs827401 at 10p14 was associated with rectal cancer risk (OR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.63–0.88) but not disease prognosis (OR = 0.91, 95% CI 0.69–1.20). Interestingly, sSNP rs3087967 at 11q23.1 was associated with CRC risk in men (OR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.14–1.58) but not women (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.88–1.29), suggesting a gender-specific role. Half of the Caucasian-identified variants, including the recently fine-mapped BMP pathway loci, BMP4, GREM1, BMP2 and LAMA 5, did not show any evidence for association with CRC in SCH (OR ∼1; p-value >0.1). Comparing the results of this study with that of the Northern and Hong Kong Chinese, only variants at chromosomes 8q24.21, 10p14, 11q23.1 and 18q21.1 were replicated in at least two out of the three Chinese studies.
The contrasting results between Caucasians and Chinese could be due to different LD patterns and allelic frequencies or genetic heterogeneity. The results suggest that additional common variants contributing to CRC predisposition remained to be identified.
Low-penetrance genetic variants have been increasingly recognized to influence the risk of tumor development. Risk variants for colorectal cancer (CRC) have been mapped to chromosome positions 8q23.3, 8q24, 9p24.1, 10p14, 11q23, 14q22.2, 15q13, 16q22.1, 18q21, 19q13.1 and 20p12.3. In particular, the 8q24 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs6983267, has reproducibly been associated with the risk of developing CRC. As the CRC risk SNPs may also influence disease outcome, thus in this study, we evaluated whether they influence patient survival.
DNA samples from 583 CRC patients enrolled in the prospective, North Carolina Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium Study (NC CanCORS) were genotyped for 11 CRC susceptibility SNPs at 6 CRC risk loci. Relationships between genotypes and patient survival were examined using Cox regression analysis. In multivariate analysis, patients homozygous for the CRC risk allele of rs7013278 or rs7014346 (both at 8 q24) were only nominally significant for poorer overall survival compared to patients homozygous for the protective allele (hazard ratio = 2.20 and 1.96, respectively; P<0.05). None of these associations, however, remained statistically significant after correction for multiple testing. The other nine susceptibility SNPs tested were not significantly associated with survival.
We did not find evidence of association of CRC risk variants with patient survival.