Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a childhood cancer originating from skeletal muscle, and patient survival is poor in the presence of metastatic disease. Few determinants that regulate metastasis development have been identified. The receptor tyrosine kinase FGFR4 is highly expressed in RMS tissue, suggesting a role in tumorigenesis, although its functional importance has not been defined. Here, we report the identification of mutations in FGFR4 in human RMS tumors that lead to its activation and present evidence that it functions as an oncogene in RMS. Higher FGFR4 expression in RMS tumors was associated with advanced-stage cancer and poor survival, while FGFR4 knockdown in a human RMS cell line reduced tumor growth and experimental lung metastases when the cells were transplanted into mice. Moreover, 6 FGFR4 tyrosine kinase domain mutations were found among 7 of 94 (7.5%) primary human RMS tumors. The mutants K535 and E550 increased autophosphorylation, Stat3 signaling, tumor proliferation, and metastatic potential when expressed in a murine RMS cell line. These mutants also transformed NIH 3T3 cells and led to an enhanced metastatic phenotype. Finally, murine RMS cell lines expressing the K535 and E550 FGFR4 mutants were substantially more susceptible to apoptosis in the presence of a pharmacologic FGFR inhibitor than the control cell lines expressing the empty vector or wild-type FGFR4. Together, our results demonstrate that mutationally activated FGFR4 acts as an oncogene, and these are what we believe to be the first known mutations in a receptor tyrosine kinase in RMS. These findings support the potential therapeutic targeting of FGFR4 in RMS.
Because chronic intestinal inflammation is a risk factor for colorectal cancer, we hypothesized that genetic variants of inflammatory mediators, such as mannose-binding lectin 2 (MBL2), are associated with colon cancer susceptibility. Here we report the association of 24 MBL2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and corresponding haplotypes with colon cancer risk in a case-control study. Four SNPs in the 3′-UTR region of the gene (rs10082466, rs2120132, rs2099902, and rs10450310) were associated with an increased risk of colon cancer in African Americans. Odds ratios (OR) for homozygous variants vs. wild-type ranged from 3.17 (95% CI, 1.57–6.40) to 4.51 (95% CI, 1.94–10.50), whereas the 3′-UTR region haplotype consisting of these four variants had an OR of 2.10 (95% CI, 1.42–3.12). The C allele of rs10082466 exhibited a binding affinity of miR-27a and this allele was associated with both lower MBL plasma levels and activity. We found that 5′ secretor haplotypes known to correlate with moderate and low MBL serum levels exhibited associations with increased risk of colon cancer in African Americans, specifically as driven by two haplotypes LYPA and LYQC relative to the referent HYPA haplotype (LYPA: OR 2.60; 95% CI 1.33–5.08 and LYQC: OR 2.28; 95% CI 1.20–4.30). Similar associations were not displayed in Caucasians. Together, our results support the hypothesis that genetic variations in MBL2 increase colon cancer susceptibility in African Americans.
colon cancer; single nucleotide polymorphism; mannose-binding lectin 2; innate immunity; African American
We conducted a population-based case-control study in Connecticut women to test the hypothesis that genetic variations in Th1 and Th2 cytokine genes may modify the association between blood transfusion and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Compared with women without blood transfusion, women with a history of transfusion had an increased risk of NHL if they carried IL10RA (rs9610) GG genotype [odds ratio (OR) = 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–3.2] or TNF (rs1800629) AG/AA genotypes (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 0.9–2.7). We also found women with a history of transfusion had a decreased risk of NHL if they carried IL10RA (rs9610) AG/AA genotypes (OR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4–0.9) or TNF (rs1800629) GG genotype (OR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5–1.0). A similar pattern was also observed for B-cell lymphoma but not for T-cell lymphoma. Statistically significant interactions with blood transfusion were observed for IL10RA (rs9610) (Pforinteraction = 0.003) and TNF (rs1800629) (Pforinteraction = 0.012) for NHL overall and IL10RA (rs9610) (Pforinteraction = 0.001) and TNF (rs1800629) (Pforinteraction = 0.019) for B-cell lymphoma. The results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in TNF and IL10RA genes may modify the association between blood transfusion and NHL risk.
Androgens and inflammation have been implicated in the etiology of several cancers, including prostate cancer. Serum androgens have been shown to correlate with markers of inflammation and expression of inflammation-related genes.
In this report, we evaluated associations between 9,932 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) marking common genetic variants in 774 inflammation-related genes and four serum androgen levels (total testosterone [T], bioavailable T [BioT]; 5α-androstane-3α, 17β-diol glucuronide [3αdiol G], and 4-Androstene-3,17-dione [androstenedione]), in 560 healthy men (median age 64 years) drawn from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Baseline serum androgens were measured by radioimmunoassay. Genotypes were determined as part of the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility Study genome-wide scan. SNP-hormone associations were evaluated using linear regression of hormones adjusted for age. Gene-based p-values were generated using an adaptive rank truncated product method.
Suggestive associations were observed for two inflammation-related genes and circulating androgen levels (false discovery rate [FDR] q-value<0.1) in both SNP and gene-based tests. Specifically, T was associated with common variants in MMP2 and CD14, with the most significant SNPs being rs893226G>T in MMP2 and rs3822356T>C in CD14 (FDR q-value=0.09 for both SNPs). Other genes implicated in either SNP or gene-based tests were IK with T and BioT, PRG2 with T, and TNFSF9 with androstenedione.
These results suggest possible cross-talk between androgen levels and inflammation pathways, but larger studies are needed to confirm these findings and to further clarify the interrelationship between inflammation and androgens and their effects on cancer risk.
Inflammation; Androgens; Genes; Testosterone; Polymorphism; Single Nucleotide
A recent Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) of prostate cancer in a Japanese population identified five novel regions not previously discovered in other ethnicities. In this study, we attempt to replicate these five loci in a series of nested prostate cancer case-control studies of European ancestry.
We genotyped five SNPs: rs13385191 (chromosome 2p24), rs12653946 (5p15), rs1983891 (6p21), rs339331 (6p22) and rs9600079 (13q22), in 7,956 prostate cancer cases and 8,148 controls from a series of nested case-control studies within the NCI Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3). We tested each SNP for association with prostate cancer risk and assessed if associations differed with respect to disease severity and age of onset.
Four SNPs (rs13385191, rs12653946, rs1983891 and rs339331) were significantly associated with prostate cancer risk (p-values ranging from 0.01 to 1.1×10-5). Allele frequencies and odds ratios were overall lower in our population of European descent compared to the discovery Asian population. SNP rs13385191 (C2orf43) was only associated with low-stage disease (p=0.009, case-only test). No other SNP showed association with disease severity or age of onset. We did not replicate the 13q22 SNP, rs9600079 (p=0.62).
Four SNPs associated with prostate cancer risk in an Asian population are also associated with prostate cancer risk in men of European descent.
This study illustrates the importance of evaluation of prostate cancer risk markers across ethnic groups.
Pulmonary hypertension is a common complication of sickle cell disease (SCD) and a risk factor for early death. Hemolysis may participate in its pathogenesis by limiting nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and producing vasculopathy. We hypothesized that hemoglobin mutations that diminish hemolysis in SCD would influence pulmonary hypertension susceptibility. Surprisingly, coincident α-thalassemia (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.46 – 1.94, P = NS) was not associated with pulmonary hypertension susceptibility in homozygous SCD. However, pulmonary hypertension cases were less likely to have hemoglobin SC (Odds Ratio [OR] = 0.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.06 to 0.51, P = 0.0005) or Sβ+ thalassemia (OR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.06 to 1.16, P = 0.10). These compound heterozygotes may be protected from pulmonary hypertension because of reduced levels of intravascular hemolysis, but develop this complication at a lower rate possibly due to the presence of non-hemolytic risk factors such as renal dysfunction, iron overload and advancing age. Despite this protective association, patients with SC who did develop pulmonary hypertension remained at significant risk for death during 49 months of follow-up (Hazard Ratio=8.20, P=0.0057).
In a pooled analysis of 4 US epidemiologic studies (1993–2001), the authors evaluated the role of 5 female reproductive factors in 357 women with glioma and 822 controls. The authors further evaluated the independent association between 5 implicated gene variants and glioma risk among the study population, as well as the joint associations of female reproductive factors (ages at menarche and menopause, menopausal status, use of oral contraceptives, and menopausal hormone therapy) and these gene variants on glioma risk. Risk estimates were calculated as odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals that were adjusted for age, race, and study. Three of the gene variants (rs4295627, a variant of CCDC26; rs4977756, a variant of CDKN2A and CDKN2B; and rs6010620, a variant of RTEL1) were statistically significantly associated with glioma risk in the present population. Compared with women who had an early age at menarche (<12 years of age), those who reported menarche at 12–13 years of age or at 14 years of age or older had a 1.7-fold higher risk and a 1.9-fold higher risk of glioma, respectively (P for trend = 0.009). Postmenopausal women and women who reported ever having used oral contraceptives had a decreased risk of glioma. The authors did not observe joint associations between these reproductive characteristics and the implicated glioma gene variants. These results require replication, but if confirmed, they would suggest that the gene variants that have previously been implicated in the development of glioma are unlikely to act through the same hormonal mechanisms in women.
genes; glioma; menstrual cycle; polymorphism, single nucleotide; reproduction; women
Recently, several genome-wide association studies have identified various genetic susceptibility loci for breast cancer. Relatively little is known about the possible interactions between these loci and the established risk factors for breast cancer.
To assess interactions between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and established risk factors, we prospectively collected DNA samples and questionnaire data from 8576 breast cancer case subjects and 11 892 control subjects nested within the National Cancer Institute’s Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3). We genotyped 17 germline SNPs (FGFR2-rs2981582, FGFR2-rs3750817, TNRC9-rs3803662, 2q35-rs13387042, MAP3K1-rs889312, 8q24-rs13281615, CASP8-rs1045485, LSP1-rs3817198, COL1A1-rs2075555, COX11-rs6504950, RNF146-rs2180341, 6q25-rs2046210, SLC4A7-rs4973768, NOTCH2-rs11249433, 5p12-rs4415084, 5p12-rs10941679, RAD51L1-rs999737), and odds ratios were estimated by logistic regression to confirm previously reported associations with breast cancer risk. We performed likelihood ratio test to assess interactions between 17 SNPs and nine established risk factors (age at menarche, parity, age at menopause, use of hormone replacement therapy, family history, height, body mass index, smoking status, and alcohol consumption), and a correction for multiple testing of 153 tests (adjusted P value threshold = .05/153 = 3 × 10−4) was done. Case–case comparisons were performed for possible differential associations of polymorphisms by subgroups of tumor stage, estrogen and progesterone receptor status, and age at diagnosis. All statistical tests were two-sided.
We confirmed the association of 14 SNPs with breast cancer risk (Ptrend = 2.57 × 10−3 –3.96 × 10−19). Three SNPs (LSP1-rs3817198, COL1A1-rs2075555, and RNF146-rs2180341) did not show association with breast cancer risk. After accounting for multiple testing, no statistically significant interactions were detected between the 17 SNPs and the nine risk factors. We also confirmed that SNPs in FGFR2 and TNRC9 were associated with greater risk of estrogen receptor–positive than estrogen receptor–negative breast cancer (Pheterogeneity = .0016 for FGFR2-rs2981582 and Pheterogeneity = .0053 for TNRC9-rs3803662). SNP 5p12-rs10941679 was statistically significantly associated with greater risk of progesterone receptor–positive than progesterone receptor–negative breast cancer (Pheterogeneity = .0028).
This study does not support the hypothesis that known common breast cancer susceptibility loci strongly modify the associations between established risk factors and breast cancer.
Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays have become a popular technology for disease-association studies, but they also have potential for studying the genetic differentiation of human populations. Application of the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 500K Array Set to a population of 102 individuals representing the major ethnic groups in the United States (African, Asian, European, and Hispanic) revealed patterns of gene diversity and genetic distance that reflected population history. We analyzed allelic frequencies at 388, 654 autosomal SNP sites that showed some variation in our study population and 10% or less missing values. In spite of the small size (23-31 individuals) of each subpopulation, there were no fixed differences at any site between any two subpopulations. As expected from the African origin of modern humans, greater gene diversity was seen in Africans than in either Asians or Europeans, and the genetic distance between Asians and European populations was significantly lower than that between either of these two populations and Africans. Principal components analysis applied to a correlation matrix among individuals was able to separate completely the major continental groups of humans (Africans, Asians, and Europeans), while Hispanics overlapped all three of these groups. Genes containing two or more markers with extraordinarily high genetic distance between subpopulations were identified as candidate genes for health differences between subpopulations. The results show that, even with modest sample sizes, genome-wide SNP genotyping technologies have great promise for capturing signatures of gene frequency difference between human subpopulations, with applications in areas as diverse as forensics and the study of ethnic health disparities.
DNA damage is an important mechanism in carcinogenesis, so genes related to maintaining genomic integrity may influence papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) risk. Candidate gene studies targeting some of these genes have identified only a few polymorphisms associated with risk of PTC. Here, we expanded the scope of previous candidate studies by increasing the number and coverage of genes related to maintenance of genomic integrity. We evaluated 5077 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 340 candidate gene regions hypothesized to be involved in DNA repair, epigenetics, tumor suppression, apoptosis, telomere function and cell cycle control and signaling pathways in a case–control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 matched controls. We estimated odds ratios for associations of single SNPs with PTC risk and combined P values for SNPs in the same gene region or pathway to obtain gene region-specific or pathway-specific P values using adaptive rank-truncated product methods. Nine SNPs had P values <0.0005, three of which were in HDAC4 and were inversely related to PTC risk. After multiple comparisons adjustment, no SNPs remained associated with PTC risk. Seven gene regions were associated with PTC risk at P < 0.01, including HUS1, ALKBH3, HDAC4, BAK1, FAF1_CDKN2C, DACT3 and FZD6. Our results suggest a possible role of genes involved in maintenance of genomic integrity in relation to risk of PTC.
Germline genetic variation may affect clinical outcomes of cancer patients. We applied a candidate-gene approach to evaluate the effect of putative markers on survival of patients with pancreatic cancer. We also examined gene-radiotherapy and gene-chemotherapy interactions, aiming to explain inter-individual differences in treatment outcomes.
In total, 211 patients with pancreatic cancer were recruited in a population-based study. Sixty-four candidate genes associated with cancer survival or treatment response were selected from existing publications. Genotype information was obtained from a previous GWAS dataset. The main effect of genetic variation and gene-specific treatment interactions on overall survival were examined by proportional hazards regression models.
Fourteen genes showed evidence of association with pancreatic cancer survival. Among these, rs1760217, located at the DPYD gene, rs17091162 at SERPINA3 and rs2231164 at ABCG2 had the lowest P-values of 10−4.60, 0.0013 and 0.0023, respectively. We also observed that two genes, RRM1 and IQGAP2, had significant interactions with radiotherapy in association with survival, and two others, TYMS and MET, showed evidence of interaction with 5-FU and erlotinib, respectively.
Our study suggested significant associations between germline genetic polymorphisms and overall survival in pancreatic cancer, as well as survival interactions between various genes and radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Pancreatic neoplasms; Survival; Genetic heterogeneity; Polymorphism; single nucleotide; Prognosis
Using the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, the authors previously reported that the single nucleotide polymorphism 7q21-rs6964587 (AKAP9-M463I) is associated with breast cancer risk. The authors have now assessed this association more comprehensively using 16 independent case–control studies.
The authors genotyped 14 843 invasive case patients and 19 852 control subjects with white European ancestry and 2595 invasive case patients and 2192 control subjects with Asian ancestry. ORs were estimated by logistic regression, adjusted for study. Heterogeneity in ORs was assessed by fitting interaction terms or by subclassifying case patients and applying polytomous logistic regression.
For white European women, the minor T allele of 7q21-rs6964587 was associated with breast cancer risk under a recessive model (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.13, p = 0.04). Results were inconclusive for Asian women. From a combined analysis of 24 154 case patients and 33 376 control subjects of white European ancestry from the present and previous series, the best-fitting model was recessive, with an estimated OR of 1.08 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.13, p = 0.001). The OR was greater at younger ages (p trend = 0.01).
This may be the first common susceptibility allele for breast cancer to be identified with a recessive mode of inheritance.
DNA damage is thought to play a critical role in the development of colorectal adenoma. Variation in DNA repair genes may alter their capacity to correct endogenous and exogenous DNA damage. We explored the association between common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA repair genes and adenoma risk with a case–control study nested in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. A total of 1338 left sided, advanced colorectal adenoma cases and 1503 matched controls free of left-sided polyps were included in the study. Using DNA extracted from blood, 3144 tag SNPs in 149 DNA repair genes were successfully genotyped. Among Caucasians, 30 SNPs were associated with adenoma risk at P < 0.01, with four SNPs remaining significant after gene-based adjustment for multiple testing. The most significant finding was for a non-synonymous SNP (rs9350) in Exonuclease-1 (EXO1) [odds ratio (OR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.11–1.51, P = 0.001)], which was predicted to be damaging using bioinformatics methods. However, the association was limited to smokers with a strong risk for current smokers (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.27–3.65) and an intermediate risk for former smokers (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.14–1.82) and no association for never smokers (OR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.76–1.25) (Pinteraction = 0.002). Among the top findings, an SNP (rs17503908) in ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) was inversely related to adenoma risk (OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.63–0.91). The association was restricted to never smokers (OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.40–0.76) with no increased risk observed among smokers (OR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.70–1.13) (Pinteraction = 0.006). This large comprehensive study, which evaluated all presently known DNA repair genes, suggests that polymorphisms in EXO1 and ATM may be associated with risk for advanced colorectal adenoma with the associations modified by tobacco-smoking status.
Background Previously, we have shown that increasing adult height is associated with increased risk of testicular germ-cell tumor (TGCT). Recently, a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been found to be related to height. We examined whether these SNPs were associated with TGCT and whether they explained the relationship between height and TGCT.
Methods We genotyped 15 height-related SNPs in the US Servicemen’s Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants (STEED) case–control study. DNA was extracted from buccal cell samples and Taqman assays were used to type the selected SNPs. We used logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs).
Results There were 561 cases and 676 controls for analysis. Two SNPs were found to be associated with risk of TGCT, rs6060373 (CC vs TT, OR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.06–2.15) and rs143384 (CC vs TT, OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.09–2.15). rs6060373 is an intronic polymorphism of ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase complex chaperone (UQCC), and rs143384 is a 5′UTR polymorphism of growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF5). No individual SNP attenuated the association between height and TGCT. Adjustment for all SNPs previously associated with adult height reduced the associations between adult height and TGCT by ~8.5%, although the P-value indicated only weak evidence that this difference was important (P = 0.26).
Conclusions This novel analysis provides tentative evidence that SNPs which are associated with adult height may also share an association with risk of TGCT.
Body height; case–control studies; epidemiology; polymorphism; single nucleotide; testicular neoplasms
Compelling evidence supports a genetic component to prostate cancer (PC) susceptibility and aggressiveness. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >30 single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with PC susceptibility. It remains unclear, however, whether such genetic variants are associated with disease aggressiveness—one of the most important questions in PC research today. To help clarify this and substantially expand research in the genetic determinants of PC aggressiveness, the first National Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Genetics Workshop assembled researchers to develop plans for a large new research consortium and patient cohort. The workshop reviewed the prior work in this area and addressed the practical issues in planning future studies. With new DNA sequencing technology, the potential application of sequencing information to patient care is emerging. The workshop, therefore, included state-of-the-art presentations by experts on new genotyping technologies, including sequencing and associated bioinformatics issues, which are just beginning to be applied to cancer genetics.
Some patients with liver disease progress to cirrhosis, but the risk factors for cirrhosis development are unknown. Dyskeratosis congenita, an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome associated with mucocutaneous anomalies, pulmonary fibrosis, andcirrhosis, is caused by germ-line mutations of genesin the telomerase complex. We examined whether telomerase mutations also occurred in sporadic cirrhosis. One hundred thirty-four patients with cirrhosis of common etiologies treated at the Liver Research Institute, University of Arizona, between May 2008 and July 2009, and 528healthy subjects were screened for variation in the TERT and TERC genes by direct sequencing; an additional 1472 controls were examined for the most common genetic variation observed in patients. Telomere length of leukocytes was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Functional effects of genetic changes were assessed by transfection of mutation-containing vectors into telomerase-deficient cell lines, and telomerase activity was measured in cell lysates. Nine of the 134 patients with cirrhosis (7%) carried a missense variant in TERT, resulting in a cumulative carrier frequency significantly higher than in controls (P=0.0009). One patient was homozygous and eight were heterozygous. The allele frequency for the most common missense TERT variant was significantly higher in cirrhotic patients (2.6%) than in 2000 controls (0.7%; P=0.0011). One additional patient carried a TERC mutation. The mean telomere length of leukocytesin cirrhotic patients, including six mutant cases, was shorter than in age-matched controls(P=0.0004). Most TERT gene variants reduced telomerase enzymatic activity in vitro. Loss-of-function telomerase gene variants associated with short telomeres are risk factors for sporadic cirrhosis.
telomere; regeneration; dyskeratosis congenital; aplastic anemia
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B-cell lymphoid malignancy suspected to be associated with immunologic factors. Given recent findings associating single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in innate immunity genes with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, we conducted an investigation of innate immune gene variants using specimens from a population-based case-control study of MM conducted in Connecticut women. Tag SNPs (N=1,461) summarizing common variation in 149 gene regions were genotyped in non-Hispanic Caucasian subjects (103 cases, 475 controls). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating SNP associations with MM were computed using unconditional logistic regression, while the MinP test was used to investigate associations with MM at the gene level. We calculated permutation-adjusted P-values and false discovery rates (FDR) to account for the number of comparisons performed in SNP-level and gene-level tests, respectively. Three genes were associated with MM when controlling for a FDR of ≤10%: SERPINE1 (PMinP<0.0001; FDR=0.02), HGF (PMinP=0.0006; FDR=0.06) and CCR7 (PMinP=0.001; FDR=0.08). Two SNPs demonstrated robust associations: SERPINE1 rs2227667 (P=2.1×10−5, Ppermutation=0.03) and HGF rs17501108 (P=5.0×10−5, Ppermutation=0.07). Our findings suggest that genetic variants in SERPINE1 and HGF, and possibly CCR7, are associated with MM risk, and warrant further investigation in other studies.
epidemiology; myeloma; genetics
Blockade of the Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte-associated Antigen 4 (CTLA-4), a down-regulator of T cell activation, can cause cancer regression in patients with metastatic melanoma. However, not all patients respond well to the therapy and some develop severe autoimmune reactions. We hypothesized that common genetic variation in the CTLA4 gene could contribute to response to CTLA-4 blockade and the occurrence of autoimmune reactions. We investigated seven common single-nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs, (rs733618, rs4553808, rs11571317, rs5742909, rs231775, rs3087243 and rs7565213) in 152 Caucasian melanoma patients who received CTLA-4 blockade. Three SNPs were associated with response to therapy: proximal promoter SNPs, rs4553808 (p=0.002, OR 3.39, 95%CI:1.62–7.10) and rs11571327 (p=0.02, OR 2.89, 95%CI: 1.23–6.83) and the non-synonymous SNP rs231775 (Thr17Ala, p=0.009, OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.18–0.82). A haplotype analysis including the 7 SNPs suggested that the common haplotype, TACCGGG could be associated with no response (p=0.02) whereas the haplotype TGCCAGG (p=0.06, OR: 4.13, 95%CI: 1.17–14.5) could be associated with response to the treatment. No significant association was observed for occurrence of severe autoimmune reactions (grade III/IV) either by single SNP or haplotype analyses. Our results suggest that genetic variation in CTLA4 could influence response to CTLA-4 blockade therapy in metastatic melanoma patients, but further studies are necessary to confirm the observed associations.
CTLA4; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism; CTLA-4 blockade; melanoma
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNA-related genes have been associated with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk in two reports, yet associated alleles may be inconsistent across studies.
We conducted a pooled analysis of previously-identified SNPs by combining genotype data from 3,973 invasive EOC cases and 3,276 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. We also conducted imputation to obtain dense coverage of genes and comparable genotype data for all studies. In total, 226 SNPs within 15 kilobases of 4 miRNA biogenesis genes (DDX20, DROSHA, GEMIN4, and XPO5) and 23 SNPs located within putative miRNA binding sites of 6 genes (CAV1, COL18A1, E2F2, IL1R1, KRAS, and UGT2A3) were genotyped or imputed and analyzed in the entire dataset.
After adjustment for European ancestry, no overall association was observed between any of the analyzed SNPs and EOC risk.
Common variants in these evaluated genes do not appear to be strongly associated with EOC risk.
This analysis suggests earlier associations between EOC risk and SNPs in these genes may have been chance findings, possibly confounded by population admixture. To more adequately evaluate the relationship between genetic variants and cancer risk, large sample sizes are needed, adjustment for population stratification should be performed, and use of imputed SNP data should be considered.
miRNA processing; binding sites; inherited susceptibility; ovarian cancer; genetic variants
Mistakes in DNA repair can result in sustained damage and genetic instability. We comprehensively evaluated common variants in DNA repair pathway genes for their association with postmenopausal breast cancer risk with and without respect to estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) subtypes.
In this nested case-control study of 1,145 prospectively ascertained breast cancer cases and 1,142 matched controls within the Nurses’ Health Study Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility project, we evaluated 1,314 common genetic variants in 68 candidate genes. These variants were chosen to represent five DNA repair pathways including base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair, double strand break repair (homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining), direct reversal repair, and mismatch repair, along with candidate DNA polymerases, Fanconi Anemia complementation groups, and other genes relevant to DNA damage recognition and response. Main effects, pathway effects and pair-wise interactions were evaluated using Logistic Regression, and the Admixture Maximum Likelihood (AML) and Kernel Machine tests.
Eight loci in linkage disequilibrium within the XRCC4 gene were associated with susceptibility to PR− breast cancer in main effect analyses (p-values corrected for multiple testing at the within-gene level <0.04). These loci drove the association between the non-homologous end-joining pathway, containing XRCC4, and PR− breast cancer (Admixture Maximum Likelihood p-value for the full pathway=0.002; p-value when the eight loci were removed=0.86). We performed the Kernel machine analysis to test the hypothesis of no linear or quadratic effects for any of the tested SNPs, or any SNP-SNP interactions among them, including those SNPs in XRCC4, and yielded a p-value of 0.85.
These findings suggest that common variation alone in DNA repair genes plays at most a small role in determining postmenopausal breast cancer risk among women of European ancestry, and support the theory that redundancies in DNA repair mechanisms may be compensatory.
Polymorphism; DNA repair; Breast cancer; Postmenopausal women; Pathway
The presence of pancreatic cancer (PC) in melanoma-prone families has been consistently associated with an increased frequency of CDKN2A mutations, the major high-risk susceptibility gene identified for melanoma. However, the precise relationship between CDKN2A, melanoma and PC remains unknown. We evaluated a recently identified PC susceptibility gene PALB2 using both sequencing and tagging to determine whether PALB2 might explain part of the relationship between CDKN2A, melanoma, and PC. No disease-related mutations were identified from sequencing PALB2 in multiple pancreatic cancer patients or other mutation carrier relatives of PC patients from the eight melanoma-prone families with CDKN2A mutations and PC. In addition, no significant associations were observed between 11 PALB2 tagging SNPs and melanoma risk in 23 melanoma-prone families with CDKN2A mutations or the subset of 11 families with PC or PC-related CDKN2A mutations. The results suggested that PALB2 does not explain the relationship between CDKN2A, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer in these melanoma-prone families.
CDKN2A; PALB2; familial melanoma; pancreatic cancer; germline mutation
High-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-array technologies allow to investigate copy number variants (CNVs) in genome-wide scans and specific calling algorithms have been developed to determine CNV location and copy number. We report the results of a reliability analysis comparing data from 96 pairs of samples processed with CNVpartition, PennCNV, and QuantiSNP for Infinium Illumina Human 1Million probe chip data. We also performed a validity assessment with multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) as a reference standard. The number of CNVs per individual varied according to the calling algorithm. Higher numbers of CNVs were detected in saliva than in blood DNA samples regardless of the algorithm used. All algorithms presented low agreement with mean Kappa Index (KI) <66. PennCNV was the most reliable algorithm (KIw=98.96) when assessing the number of copies. The agreement observed in detecting CNV was higher in blood than in saliva samples. When comparing to MLPA, all algorithms identified poorly known copy aberrations (sensitivity = 0.19–0.28). In contrast, specificity was very high (0.97–0.99). Once a CNV was detected, the number of copies was truly assessed (sensitivity > 0.62). Our results indicate that the current calling algorithms should be improved for high performance CNVanalysis in genome-wide scans. Further refinement is required to assess CNVs as risk factors in complex diseases.
copy number variation; genome-wide association study; specificity; sensitivity; reliability; accuracy; CNVpartition; PennCNV; QuantiSNP
Defective miRNA biogenesis contributes to the development and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). In this study, we examined the hypothesis that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNA biogenesis genes may influence EOC risk. In an initial investigation, 318 SNPs in 18 genes were evaluated among 1,815 EOC cases and 1,900 controls, followed up by a replicative joint meta-analysis of data from an additional 2,172 cases and 3,052 controls. Of 23 SNPs from 9 genes associated with risk (empirical P<0.05) in the initial investigation, the meta-analysis replicated 6 SNPs from the DROSHA, FMR1, LIN28, and LIN28B genes, including rs12194974 (G>A), a SNP in a putative transcription factor binding site in the LIN28B promoter region (summary OR=0.90, 95% CI: 0.82–0.98; P=0.015) which has been recently implicated in age of menarche and other phenotypes. Consistent with reports that LIN28B over-expression in EOC contributes to tumorigenesis by repressing tumor suppressor let-7 expression, we provide data from luciferase reporter assays and quantitative RT-PCR to suggest that the inverse association among rs12194974 A allele carriers may be due to reduced LIN28B expression. Our findings suggest that variants in LIN28B and possibly other miRNA biogenesis genes may influence EOC susceptibility.
miRNA processing; inherited susceptibility; ovarian cancer; genetic variants
Recent advances in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have enabled us to identify thousands of genetic variants (GVs) that are associated with human diseases. As next-generation sequencing technologies become less expensive, more GVs will be discovered in the near future. Existing databases, such as NHGRI GWAS Catalog, collect GVs with only genome-wide level significance. However, many true disease susceptibility loci have relatively moderate P values and are not included in these databases. We have developed GWASdb that contains 20 times more data than the GWAS Catalog and includes less significant GVs (P < 1.0 × 10−3) manually curated from the literature. In addition, GWASdb provides comprehensive functional annotations for each GV, including genomic mapping information, regulatory effects (transcription factor binding sites, microRNA target sites and splicing sites), amino acid substitutions, evolution, gene expression and disease associations. Furthermore, GWASdb classifies these GVs according to diseases using Disease-Ontology Lite and Human Phenotype Ontology. It can conduct pathway enrichment and PPI network association analysis for these diseases. GWASdb provides an intuitive, multifunctional database for biologists and clinicians to explore GVs and their functional inferences. It is freely available at http://jjwanglab.org/gwasdb and will be updated frequently.