An important component in the analysis of genome-wide association studies involves the imputation of genotypes that have not been measured directly in the studied samples. The imputation procedure uses the linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure in the population to infer the genotype of an unobserved single nucleotide polymorphism. The LD structure is normally learned from a dense genotype map of a reference population that matches the studied population. In many instances there is no reference population that exactly matches the studied population, and a natural question arises as to how to choose the reference population for the imputation. Here we present a Coalescent-based method that addresses this issue. In contrast to the current paradigm of imputation methods, our method assigns a different reference dataset for each sample in the studied population, and for each region in the genome. This allows the flexibility to account for the diversity within populations, as well as across populations. Furthermore, because our approach treats each region in the genome separately, our method is suitable for the imputation of recently admixed populations. We evaluated our method across a large set of populations and found that our choice of reference data set considerably improves the accuracy of imputation, especially for regions with low LD and for populations without a reference population available as well as for admixed populations such as the Hispanic population. Our method is generic and can potentially be incorporated in any of the available imputation methods as an add-on.
genotype imputation; coalescent; GWAS; linkage disequilibrium; weighted panel
Interaction between CD40 and its ligand, CD154, has a key function in immune regulation. Recent experimental data support a role of deregulated CD40 signalling in lymphomagenesis. Data from earlier studies that are part of this pooling study implicate a functional polymorphism (−1C>T, rs1883832) in the TNFRSF5 gene encoding CD40 in the etiology of follicular lymphoma. Here, the association of this variant with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk was replicated in a European multicenter study of 855 NHL cases and 1,206 controls. In the combined analysis of 2,617 cases and 3,605 controls, carrying the TT genotype was associated with an increased risk for all NHL (OR = 1.4; p for linear trend = 0.00009), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR = 1.6; p for linear trend = 0.002) and follicular lymphoma (OR = 1.6; p for linear trend = 0.001). These data suggest a possible role of this functional polymorphism in lymphomas originating within the germinal center.
lymphoma; TNFRSF5; CD40; polymorphism; epidemiology
In humans, ingested inorganic arsenic is metabolized to monomethylarsenic (MMA) then to dimethylarsenic (DMA), although in most people this process is not complete. Previous studies have identified associations between the proportion of urinary MMA (%MMA) and increased risks of several arsenic-related diseases, although none of these reported on lung cancer. In this study, urinary arsenic metabolites were assessed in 45 lung cancer cases and 75 controls from arsenic-exposed areas in Cordoba, Argentina. Folate has also been linked to arsenic-disease susceptibility, thus an exploratory assessment of associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms in folate metabolizing genes, arsenic methylation, and lung cancer was also conducted. In analyses limited to subjects with metabolite concentrations above detection limits, the mean %MMA was higher in cases than in controls (17.5% versus 14.3%, p = 0.01). The lung cancer odds ratios for subjects with %MMA in the upper tertile compared to those in the lowest tertile was 3.09 (95% CI, 1.08–8.81). Although the study size was too small for a definitive conclusion, there was an indication that lung cancer risks might be highest in those with a high %MMA who also carried cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) rs234709 and rs4920037 variant alleles. This study is the first to report an association between individual differences in arsenic metabolism and lung cancer, a leading cause of arsenic-related mortality. These results add to the increasing body of evidence that variation in arsenic metabolism plays an important role in arsenic-disease susceptibility.
arsenic; lung cancer; drinking water; metabolism
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are a heterogeneous group of solid tumours of lymphoid cell origin. Three important aspects of lymphocyte development include immunity and inflammation, DNA repair, and programmed cell death. We have used a previously established case-control study of NHL to ask whether genetic variation in genes involved in these three important processes influences risk of this cancer. 118 genes in these three categories were tagged with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which were tested for association with NHL and its subtypes. The main analysis used logistic regression (additive model) to estimate odds ratios in European-ancestry cases and controls. 599 SNPs and 1116 samples (569 cases and 547 controls) passed quality control measures and were included in analyses. Following multiple-testing correction, one SNP in MSH3, a mismatch repair gene, showed an association with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.41–2.59; uncorrected p = 0.00003; corrected p = 0.010). This association was not replicated in an independent European-ancestry sample set of 251 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cases and 737 controls, indicating this result was likely a false positive. It is likely that moderate sample size, inter-subtype and other genetic heterogeneity, and small true effect sizes account for the lack of replicable findings.
Exposure to arsenic (As) is a global public health problem because of its association with various cancers and numerous other pathological effects, and millions of people worldwide are exposed to As on a regular basis. Increasing lines of evidence indicate that As may adversely affect the immune system, but its specific effects on immune function are poorly understood. Therefore, we conducted a literature search of non-cancer immune-related effects associated with As exposure and summarized the known immunotoxicological effects of As in humans, animals and in vitro models. Overall, the data show that chronic exposure to As has the potential to impair vital immune responses which could lead to increased risk of infections and chronic diseases, including various cancers. Although animal and in vitro models provide some insight into potential mechanisms of the As-related immunotoxicity observed in human populations, further investigation, particularly in humans, is needed to better understand the relationship between As exposure and the development of disease.
Arsenic; Immune system; Immunotoxicity; Immunocompromised; Immunosuppression
Owing to their role in controlling the efflux of toxic compounds, transporters are central players in the process of detoxification and elimination of xenobiotics, which in turn is related to cancer risk. Among these transporters, ATP-binding cassette B1/multidrug resistance 1 (ABCB1/MDR1), ABCC2/multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2), and ABCG2/breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) affect susceptibility to many hematopoietic malignancies. The maintenance of regulated expression of these transporters is governed through the activation of intracellular “xenosensors” like the nuclear receptor 1I2/pregnane X receptor (NR1I2/PXR). SNPs in genes encoding these regulators have also been implicated in the risk of several cancers. Using a tagging approach, we tested the hypothesis that common polymorphisms in the transporter genes ABCB1, ABCC2, ABCG2, and the regulator gene NR1I2 could be implicated in lymphoma risk. We selected 68 SNPs in the 4 genes, and we genotyped them in 1,481 lymphoma cases and 1,491 controls of the European cases-control study (EpiLymph) using the Illumina™ GoldenGate assay technology.Carriers of the SNP rs6857600 minor allele in ABCG2, was associated with a decrease in risk of B-cell lymphoma (B-NHL) overall (p<0.001). Furthermore, a decreased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was associated with the ABCG2 rs2231142 variant (p=0.0004), which could be replicated in an independent population. These results suggest a role for this gene in B-NHL susceptibility, especially for CLL.
Lymphoma; multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1); multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2); breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP); pregnane X receptor (PXR)
Follicular lymphoma (FL) is an indolent, sometimes fatal disease characterized by recurrence at progressively shorter intervals and is frequently refractive to therapy. Genome-wide association studies have identified SNPs in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region on chromosome 6p21.32–33 that are statistically significantly associated with FL risk. Low to medium resolution typing of single or multiple HLA genes has provided an incomplete picture of the total genetic risk imparted by this highly variable region. To gain further insight into the role of HLA alleles in lymphomagenesis and to investigate the independence of validated SNPs and HLA alleles with FL risk, high-resolution HLA typing was conducted using next-generation sequencing in 222 non-Hispanic white FL cases and 220 matched controls from a larger San Francisco Bay Area population-based case-control study of lymphoma. A novel protective association was found between the DPB1*03:01 allele and FL risk (OR=0.39, 95% CI 0.21–0.68). Extended haplotypes DRB1*01:01-DQA1*01:01-DQB1*05:01 (OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.22–3.38) and DRB1*15-DQA1*01-DQB1*06 (OR=0.55, 95% CI 0.36–0.82) also influenced FL risk. Moreover, DRB1*15-DQA1*01-DQB1*06 was highly correlated with an established FL risk locus, rs2647012. These results provide further insight into the critical roles of HLA alleles and SNPs in FL pathogenesis that involve multi-locus effects across the HLA region.
follicular lymphoma; HLA; genetic risk factors; next-generation sequencing
Benzene exposure is associated with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and probably lymphoma and childhood leukemia. Biological plausibility for a causal role of benzene in these diseases comes from its toxicity to hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) or progenitor cells, from which all leukemias and related disorders arise. The effect of this toxicity is manifest as lowered blood counts (hematotoxicity), even in individuals occupationally exposed to low levels of benzene. Benzene can induce AML/MDS via several well-characterized pathways associated with these diseases. Through its metabolites, benzene induces multiple alterations that likely contribute to the leukemogenic process, and appears to operate via multiple modes of action. To improve mechanistic understanding and for risk assessment purposes, it may be possible to measure several of the key events in these modes of action in an in vitro model of the bone marrow stem cell niche. Even though benzene is leukemogenic at relatively low occupational levels of exposure, it seems unlikely that it is a major cause of leukemia in the general population exposed to benzene in the ppb range. Other established non-genetic causes of AML, e.g. smoking, ionizing radiation and cancer chemotherapy, also only explain about 20% of AML incidence, leaving ~80% unexplained. The question arises as to how to find the causes of the majority of de novo AMLs that remain unexplained. We propose that we should attempt to characterize the ‘exposome’ of human leukemia by using unbiased laboratory-based methods to find the unknown ‘environmental’ factors that contribute to leukemia etiology.
Benzene; leukemia; myeloid; AML; mode of action; mechanism; blood; biomarker; metabolism; hydroquinone; stem cell niche
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma represents a diverse group of hematological malignancies, of which follicular lymphoma (FL) is one of the most common subtypes. Family and epidemiological studies suggest an important genetic role in the etiology of FL. In recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of FL, several genetic susceptibility loci have been identified on chromosome 6p21.33 (rs6457327) and 6p21.32 (rs10484561, rs2647012) in the human leukocyte antigen class I and class II regions. To identify new genetic variants and further elucidate the genetic basis of FL, a meta-analysis was performed of the top 1000 SNPs associated with FL risk from two GWAS in the US, Denmark and Sweden (592 cases, 1541 controls), with independent validation in 107 cases and 681 controls.
rs9275517 and rs3117222 in the HLA class II region were validated and inversely associated with FL risk (rs9275517: OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.55-0.73, p = 4.03 × 10-11; rs3117222: OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.57-0.77, p = 1.45 × 10-7). rs9275517, which is in high linkage disequilibrium with rs2647012 (r2 = 0.9), was no longer associated with FL after conditioning on rs2647012. The rs3117222 association was independent of established FL SNPs, but not of the HLA-DPB1*0301 allele. Using publicly available gene expression profiles with matching genotype information, we found that rs3117222 also was significantly correlated with increased HLA-DPB1 expression.
By performing a meta-analysis of two GWAS of FL, we further validated the relevance of HLA-DPB1*0301 as a protective allele in the pathogenesis of FL. Moreover, the protective rs3117222 A allele correlated with increased levels of HLA-DPB1, suggesting a possible disease mechanism involving HLA-DPB1 expression regulation. Our results add further support to the major role of HLA genetic variation in the pathogenesis of FL.
Follicular lymphoma (FL); Genome-wide association studies (GWAS); Human leukocyte antigen (HLA); Meta-analysis
Polymorphisms in chemokine genes have been associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) but are understudied in non-HIV-related NHL. Associations of NHL and NHL subtypes with polymorphisms and haplotypes in CCR5, CCR2, CCL5, CXCL12 and CX3CR1 were explored in a pooled analysis of three case-control studies (San Francisco Bay Area, California; United Kingdom; total: cases N=1610, controls N=1992). Adjusted unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate relative risks among HIV-negative non-Hispanic Caucasians. The CCR5M Δ32 deletion reduced the risk of NHL (odds ratio=0.56, 95% confidence interval=0.38-0.83) in men but not women with similar effects observed for diffuse large-cell and follicular lymphoma (FL). NHL risk also was reduced in men with the CCR2/CCR5 haplotype characterized by the CCR5 Δ32 deletion. The CCL5 −403A allele conferred reduced risks of FL and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Results should be interpreted conservatively. Continued investigation is warranted to confirm these findings.
Lymphoma non-Hodgkin; Chemokines; Polymorphism, genetic; Case-Control
Many effective options exist to accurately type DNA for HLA alleles. However, most of the existing methods are excessively costly in terms of overall monetary costs, DNA requirements, and proprietary software. We present a novel assay able to resolve heterozygous HLA-DQB1 allelotypes at two digits, with even greater specificity for the HLA-DQB1*06 allele family, by using the multiplexed ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay provides more specific allele data than genome-wide analysis and is more affordable than sequencing, making it a useful intermediate for researchers seeking to accurately allelotype human DNA samples.
DQB1; genotyping; MHC class II; MLPA
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a hematological malignancy of the immune system, and, as with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (ADs), is influenced by genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Persons with a history of specific ADs also have increased risk of NHL. As the coexistence of ADs and NHL could be caused by factors common to both diseases, here we examined whether some of the associated genetic signals are shared. Overlapping risk loci for NHL subytpes and several ADs were explored using data from genome-wide association studies. Several common genomic regions and susceptibility loci were identified suggesting a potential shared genetic background. Two independent MHC regions showed the main overlap, with several alleles in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) Class II region exhibiting an opposite risk effect for follicular lymphoma and type I diabetes. These results support continued investigation to further elucidate the relationship between lymphoma and autoimmune diseases.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Autoimmune diseases; Genome-wide Association Studies; Human Leukocyte Antigen
In a recent genome-wide association study of follicular lymphoma (FL), we identified novel risk alleles on chromosome 6p21.33 that appeared to be part of an extended haplotype including HLA-DRB1*0101, DQA1*0101, and DQB1*0501. To follow up on these findings, we obtained 2–4 digit HLA-DQB1 allelotypes on a subset of 265 FL cases and 757 controls using a novel assay that applies multiplexed ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). We confirmed a positive association between FL and the HLA-DQB1*05 allele group (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.28–2.27; adjusted p-value=0.013) and also identified an allele group inversely associated with FL risk, HLA-DQB1*06 (OR=0.51, 95% CI 0.38–0.69; adjusted p-value=4.46×10−5). Although these findings require verification, the role of HLA class II proteins in B-cell survival and proliferation make this a biologically plausible association.
follicular lymphoma; MHC; HLA; DQ; NHL
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several gene variants associated with sporadic chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL). Many of these CLL/SLL susceptibility loci are located in non-coding or intergenic regions, posing a significant challenge to determine their potential functional relevance. Here, we review the literature of all CLL/SLL GWAS and validation studies, and apply eQTL analysis to identify putatively functional SNPs that affect gene expression that may be causal in the pathogenesis of CLL/SLL. We tested 12 independent risk loci for their potential to alter gene expression through cis-acting mechanisms, using publicly available gene expression profiles with matching genotype information. Sixteen SNPs were identified that are linked to differential expression of SP140, a putative tumor suppressor gene previously associated with CLL/SLL. Three additional SNPs were associated with differential expression of DACT3 and GNG8, which are involved in the WNT/β-catenin- and G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways, respectively, that have been previously implicated in CLL/SLL pathogenesis. Using in silico functional prediction tools, we found that 14 of the 19 significant eQTL SNPs lie in multiple putative regulatory elements, several of which have prior implications in CLL/SLL or other hematological malignancies. Although experimental validation is needed, our study shows that the use of existing GWAS data in combination with eQTL analysis and in silico methods represents a useful starting point to screen for putatively causal SNPs that may be involved in the etiology of CLL/SLL.
Variation in individual susceptibility to arsenic-induced disease may be partially explained by genetic differences in arsenic metabolism. Mounting epidemiological evidence and in vitro studies suggest that methylated arsenic metabolites, particularly monomethylarsonic (MMA3), are more acutely toxic than inorganic arsenic; thus, MMA3 may be the primary toxic arsenic species. To test the role of genetic variation in arsenic metabolism, polymorphisms in genes involved in one-carbon metabolism [methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), methionine synthase (MTR), cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS), thymidylate synthase (TYMS), dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), serine hydroxymethyltransferase 1 (SHMT1] and glutathione biosynthesis [glutathione S-transferase omega 1 (GSTO1)] were examined in an arsenic exposed population to determine their influence in urinary arsenic metabolite patterns. In 142 subjects in Cordoba Province, Argentina, variant genotypes for CBS rs234709 and rs4920037 SNPs compared with wild-type homozygotes were associated with 24% and 26% increases, respectively, in the mean proportion of arsenic excreted as monomethylarsonic acid (%MMA). This difference is within the range of differences in %MMA seen between people with arsenic-related disease and those without such disease in other studies. Small inverse associations with CBS rs234709 and rs4920037 variants were also found for the mean levels of the proportion of arsenic excreted as dimethylarsinous acid (%DMA). No other genetic associations were found. These findings are the first to suggest that CBS polymorphisms may influence arsenic metabolism in humans and susceptibility to arsenic-related disease.
arsenic; polymorphism; cystathionine-β-synthase; CBS; SNP
Toxicogenomic studies, including genome-wide analyses of susceptibility genes (genomics), gene expression (transcriptomics), protein expression (proteomics), and epigenetic modifications (epigenomics), of human populations exposed to benzene are crucial to understanding gene-environment interactions, providing the ability to develop biomarkers of exposure, early effect and susceptibility. Comprehensive analysis of these toxicogenomic and epigenomic profiles by bioinformatics in the context of phenotypic endpoints, comprises systems biology, which has the potential to comprehensively define the mechanisms by which benzene causes leukemia. We have applied this approach to a molecular epidemiology study of workers exposed to benzene. Hematotoxicity, a significant decrease in almost all blood cell counts, was identified as a phenotypic effect of benzene that occurred even below 1ppm benzene exposure. We found a significant decrease in the formation of progenitor colonies arising from bone marrow stem cells with increasing benzene exposure, showing that progenitor cells are more sensitive to the effects of benzene than mature blood cells, likely leading to the observed hematotoxicity. Analysis of transcriptomics by microarray in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of exposed workers, identified genes and pathways (apoptosis, immune response, and inflammatory response) altered at high (>10ppm) and low (<1ppm) benzene levels. Serum proteomics by SELDI-TOF-MS revealed proteins consistently down-regulated in exposed workers. Preliminary epigenomics data showed effects of benzene on the DNA methylation of specific genes. Genomic screens for candidate genes involved in susceptibility to benzene toxicity are being undertaken in yeast, with subsequent confirmation by RNAi in human cells, to expand upon the findings from candidate gene analyses. Data on these and future biomarkers will be used to populate a large toxicogenomics database, to which we will apply bioinformatic approaches to understand the interactions among benzene toxicity, susceptibility genes, mRNA, and DNA methylation through a systems biology approach.
benzene; toxicogenomics; epigenetics; systems biology; hematotoxicity; human
In an International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium pooled analysis, polymorphisms in 2 immune-system-related genes, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-10 (IL10), were associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. Here, 8,847 participants were added to previous data (patients diagnosed from 1989 to 2005 in 14 case-control studies; 7,999 cases, 8,452 controls) for testing of polymorphisms in the TNF –308G>A (rs1800629), lymphotoxin-α (LTA) 252A>G (rs909253), IL10 –3575T>A (rs1800890, rs1800896), and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2 (NOD2) 3020insC (rs2066847) genes. Odds ratios were estimated for non-Hispanic whites and several ethnic subgroups using 2-sided tests. Consistent with previous findings, odds ratios were increased for “new” participant TNF –308A carriers (NHL: per-allele odds ratio (ORallelic) = 1.10, Ptrend = 0.001; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): ORallelic = 1.23, Ptrend = 0.004). In the combined population, odds ratios were increased for TNF –308A carriers (NHL: ORallelic = 1.13, Ptrend = 0.0001; DLBCL: ORallelic = 1.25, Ptrend = 3.7 × 10−6; marginal zone lymphoma: ORallelic = 1.35, Ptrend = 0.004) and LTA 252G carriers (DLBCL: ORallelic = 1.12, Ptrend = 0.006; mycosis fungoides: ORallelic = 1.44, Ptrend = 0.015). The LTA 252A>G/TNF –308G>A haplotype containing the LTA/TNF variant alleles was strongly associated with DLBCL (P = 2.9 × 10−8). Results suggested associations between IL10 –3575T>A and DLBCL (Ptrend = 0.02) and IL10 –1082A>G and mantle cell lymphoma (Ptrend = 0.04). These findings strengthen previous results for DLBCL and the LTA 252A>G/TNF –308A locus and provide robust evidence that these TNF/LTA gene variants, or others in linkage disequilibrium, are involved in NHL etiology.
lymphoma; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; lymphotoxin-alpha; meta-analysis; polymorphism, genetic; polymorphism, single nucleotide; tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Exposure to arsenic, an established human carcinogen, through consumption of highly contaminated drinking water is a worldwide public health concern. Several mechanisms by which arsenical compounds induce tumorigenesis have been proposed, including oxidative stress, genotoxic damage, and chromosomal abnormalities. Recent studies have suggested that epigenetic mechanisms may also mediate toxicity and carcinogenicity resulting from arsenic exposure.
We examined the evidence supporting the roles of the three major epigenetic mechanisms—DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA (miRNA) expression—in arsenic toxicity and, in particular, carcinogenicity. We also investigated future research directions necessary to clarify epigenetic and other mechanisms in humans.
Data sources and synthesis
We conducted a PubMed search of arsenic exposure and epigenetic modification through April 2010 and summarized the in vitro and in vivo research findings, from both our group and others, on arsenic-associated epigenetic alteration and its potential role in toxicity and carcinogenicity.
Arsenic exposure has been shown to alter methylation levels of both global DNA and gene promoters; histone acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation; and miRNA expression, in studies analyzing mainly a limited number of epigenetic end points. Systematic epigenomic studies in human populations exposed to arsenic or in patients with arsenic-associated cancer have not yet been performed. Such studies would help to elucidate the relationship between arsenic exposure, epigenetic dysregulation, and carcinogenesis and are becoming feasible because of recent technological advancements.
arsenic carcinogenesis; arsenical compounds; DNA methylation; epigenetics; histone modification; microRNA
OMICS technologies are relatively new biomarker discovery tools that can be applied to study large sets of biological molecules. Their application in human observational studies (HOS) has become feasible in recent years due to a spectacular increase in the sensitivity, resolution and throughput of OMICS based assays. Although, the number of OMIC techniques is ever expanding, the five most developed OMICS technologies are genotyping, transcriptomics, epigenomics, proteomics and metabolomics. These techniques have been applied in HOS to various extents. However, their application in Occupational Environmental Health (OEH) research has been limited. Here, we will discuss the opportunities these new techniques provide for OEH research. In addition we will address difficulties and limitations to the interpretation of the data that is generated by OMICS technologies. To illustrate the current status of the application of OMICS in OEH research, we will provide examples of studies that used OMICS technologies to investigate human health effects of two well known toxicants, benzene and arsenic.
OMICS; Molecular biology; biomarkers; human observational studies
We conducted genome-wide association studies of non-Hodgkin lymphoma using Illumina HumanHap550 BeadChips to identify subtype-specific associations in follicular, diffuse large B-cell and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphomas. We found that rs6457327 on 6p21.33 was associated with susceptibility to follicular lymphoma (FL, N=189 cases/592 controls) with validation in an additional 456 FL cases and 2,785 controls (combined allelic p-value=4.7×10−11). The region of strongest association overlaps C6orf15(STG), located near psoriasis susceptibility region 1(PSORS1).
Genetic susceptibility studies of lymphoma may serve to identify at risk populations and to elucidate important disease mechanisms.
This review considered all studies published through October 2006 on the contribution of genetic polymorphisms in the risk of lymphoma.
Numerous studies implicate the role of genetic variants that promote B-cell survival and growth with increased risk of lymphoma. Several reports including a large pooled study by InterLymph, an international consortium of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) case-control studies, found positive associations between variant alleles in TNF -308G>A and IL10 -3575T>A genes and risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Four studies reported positive associations between a GSTT1 deletion and risk of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Genetic studies of folate-metabolizing genes implicate folate in NHL risk, but further studies that include folate and alcohol assessments are needed. Links between NHL and genes involved in energy regulation and hormone production and metabolism may provide insights into novel mechanisms implicating neuro- and endocrine-immune cross-talk with lymphomagenesis, but will need replication in larger populations.
Numerous studies suggest that common genetic variants with low penetrance influence lymphoma risk, though replication studies will be needed to eliminate false positive associations.
lymphoma; genetic susceptibility; SNP; NHL; polymorphisms
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) represents a group of heterogeneous diseases that significantly vary in their causes, molecular profiles, and natural progression. In 2006, there will be ~59,000 newly diagnosed NHL cases in the U.S. and over 300,000 cases worldwide. While new therapeutic regimens are minimizing the number of deaths related to NHL, causes for the majority of lymphomas remain undetermined. Recent studies suggest that dietary factors may contribute to the rising rates of NHL. This review will summarize epidemiological reports that have studied the relationship between obesity, physical activity, diet and risk of NHL.
Based on a number of case-control and prospective cohort studies, overweight/obesity likely increases the risk of NHL; whereas, moderate physical activity may reduce risk. Several studies support an inverse association between intakes of vegetables and NHL risk, particularly for the consumption of cruciferous vegetables. This may relate to the induction of apoptosis and growth arrest in pre-neoplastic and neoplastic cells, two important actions of isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables. Studies also suggest that fish intake may be inversely associated with risk of NHL, though findings have not been entirely consistent. This may relate to the high organochlorine content in some fish that could override a protective effect. High consumption of fats, meat and dairy products also may increase lymphoma risk. The accumulated scientific evidence concerning the associations between obesity, diet, and NHL suggests several identified modifiable risk factors that might be recommended to decrease lymphoma risk.
Ingestion of arsenic (As) through contaminated drinking water results in increased risks of skin, lung, kidney, and bladder cancers. Due to its association with kidney and bladder cancers, we hypothesized that analysis of the urinary proteome could provide insight into the mechanisms of As toxicity. Urine from participants in a cross-sectional As biomarker study conducted in Nevada, classified as having either high (≥ 100 μg total urinary As/l) or low exposure (< 100 μg total urinary As/l) was analyzed by surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Two polypeptides, 2.21 and 4.37 kDa, were significantly decreased in the high exposure group (p < 0.05) and were limited to men when stratified by sex. To replicate these findings, urine from participants in a second As study in Chile was analyzed and results confirmed the decrease of the 4.37 kDa polypeptide as well as a 4.76 kDa polypeptide among highly exposed men. These peaks were identified and confirmed as human β-defensin-1 (HBD-1) peptides. In a separate in vitro experiment, gene expression analysis of As-treated cell lines demonstrated reduced HBD1 mRNA confirming that the observed decrease in HBD-1 resulted from As exposure. HBD-1 is an antimicrobial peptide constitutively expressed in multiple tissues including epithelial cells of the respiratory and urogenital systems. Recent studies support its role as a tumor suppressor gene for urological cancers suggesting that decreased HBD-1 levels may play a role in the development of cancers associated with As exposure. Further studies are warranted to investigate the role of HBD-1 in As-related toxicity.
arsenic; human beta-defensin-1; proteomics; SELDI-TOF MS
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. and few causes have been identified. Genetic association studies may help identify environmental risk factors and enhance our understanding of disease mechanisms.
768 coding and haplotype tagging SNPs in 146 genes were examined using Illumina GoldenGate technology in a large population-based case-control study of NHL in the San Francisco Bay Area (1,292 cases 1,375 controls are included here). Statistical analyses were restricted to HIV- participants of white non-Hispanic origin. Genes involved in steroidogenesis, immune function, cell signaling, sunlight exposure, xenobiotic metabolism/oxidative stress, energy balance, and uptake and metabolism of cholesterol, folate and vitamin C were investigated. Sixteen SNPs in eight pathways and nine haplotypes were associated with NHL after correction for multiple testing at the adjusted q<0.10 level. Eight SNPs were tested in an independent case-control study of lymphoma in Germany (494 NHL cases and 494 matched controls). Novel associations with common variants in estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) and in the vitamin C receptor and matrix metalloproteinase gene families were observed. Four ESR1 SNPs were associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) in the U.S. study, with rs3020314 remaining associated with reduced risk of FL after multiple testing adjustments [odds ratio (OR) = 0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.23–0.77) and replication in the German study (OR = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.06–0.94). Several SNPs and haplotypes in the matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP3) and MMP9 genes and in the vitamin C receptor genes, solute carrier family 23 member 1 (SLC23A1) and SLC23A2, showed associations with NHL risk.
Our findings suggest a role for estrogen, vitamin C and matrix metalloproteinases in the pathogenesis of NHL that will require further validation.