Statins increase the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus. We aimed to assess whether this increase in risk is a consequence of inhibition of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the intended drug target.
We used single nucleotide polymorphisms in the HMGCR gene, rs17238484 (for the main analysis) and rs12916 (for a subsidiary analysis) as proxies for HMGCR inhibition by statins. We examined associations of these variants with plasma lipid, glucose, and insulin concentrations; bodyweight; waist circumference; and prevalent and incident type 2 diabetes. Study-specific effect estimates per copy of each LDL-lowering allele were pooled by meta-analysis. These findings were compared with a meta-analysis of new-onset type 2 diabetes and bodyweight change data from randomised trials of statin drugs. The effects of statins in each randomised trial were assessed using meta-analysis.
Data were available for up to 223 463 individuals from 43 genetic studies. Each additional rs17238484-G allele was associated with a mean 0·06 mmol/L (95% CI 0·05–0·07) lower LDL cholesterol and higher body weight (0·30 kg, 0·18–0·43), waist circumference (0·32 cm, 0·16–0·47), plasma insulin concentration (1·62%, 0·53–2·72), and plasma glucose concentration (0·23%, 0·02–0·44). The rs12916 SNP had similar effects on LDL cholesterol, bodyweight, and waist circumference. The rs17238484-G allele seemed to be associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] per allele 1·02, 95% CI 1·00–1·05); the rs12916-T allele association was consistent (1·06, 1·03–1·09). In 129 170 individuals in randomised trials, statins lowered LDL cholesterol by 0·92 mmol/L (95% CI 0·18–1·67) at 1-year of follow-up, increased bodyweight by 0·24 kg (95% CI 0·10–0·38 in all trials; 0·33 kg, 95% CI 0·24–0·42 in placebo or standard care controlled trials and −0·15 kg, 95% CI −0·39 to 0·08 in intensive-dose vs moderate-dose trials) at a mean of 4·2 years (range 1·9–6·7) of follow-up, and increased the odds of new-onset type 2 diabetes (OR 1·12, 95% CI 1·06–1·18 in all trials; 1·11, 95% CI 1·03–1·20 in placebo or standard care controlled trials and 1·12, 95% CI 1·04–1·22 in intensive-dose vs moderate dose trials).
The increased risk of type 2 diabetes noted with statins is at least partially explained by HMGCR inhibition.
The funding sources are cited at the end of the paper.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many variants that influence high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and/or triglycerides. However, environmental modifiers, such as smoking, of these known genotype–phenotype associations are just recently emerging in the literature. We have tested for interactions between smoking and 49 GWAS-identified variants in over 41,000 racially/ethnically diverse samples with lipid levels from the Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study. Despite their biological plausibility, we were unable to detect significant SNP × smoking interactions.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) target the prostaglandin H synthase enzymes, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2, and reduce colorectal cancer risk. Genetic variation in the genes encoding these enzymes may be associated with changes in colon and rectal cancer risk and in NSAID efficacy.
We genotyped candidate polymorphisms and tagSNPs in PTGS1 (COX-1) and PTGS2 (COX-2) in a population-based case-control study (Diet, Activity and Lifestyle Study, DALS) of colon cancer (n=1470 cases/1837 controls) and rectal cancer (n=583/775), and independently among cases and controls from the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR; colon n= 959/1535, rectal n= 505/839).
In PTGS2, a functional polymorphism (−765G>C; rs20417) was associated with a 2-fold increased rectal cancer risk (p=0.05) in the DALS study. This association replicated with a significant nearly 5-fold increased risk of rectal cancer in the CCFR study (ORCC vs GG=4.88; 95%CI=1.54–15.45; ORGC vs GG=1.36; 95%CI: 0.95–1.94). Genotype-NSAID interactions were observed in the DALS study for PTGS1 and rectal cancer risk, and for PTGS2 and colon cancer risk, but were no longer significant after correcting for multiple comparisons and did not replicate in the CCFR. No significant associations between PTGS1 polymorphisms and colon or rectal cancer risk were observed.
These findings suggest that polymorphisms in PTGS2 may be associated with rectal cancer risk and impact the protective effects of NSAIDs.
colorectal cancer; PTGS; COX; genetic association; NSAID; aspirin; polymorphism
Experimental evidence has demonstrated an anti-neoplastic role for vitamin D in the colon and higher circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are consistently associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Genome-wide association studies have identified loci associated with levels of circulating 25(OH)D. The identified SNPs from four gene regions, collectively explain approximately 5% of the variance in circulating 25(OH)D.
We investigated whether six polymorphisms in GC, CYP2R1, CYP24A1 and DHCR7/NADSYN1, genes previously shown to be associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, were associated with CRC risk in 10,061 cases and 12,768 controls drawn from 13 studies included in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) and Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR). We performed a meta-analysis of crude and multivariate-adjusted logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios and associated confidence intervals for SNPs individually, SNPs simultaneously, and for a vitamin D additive genetic risk score (GRS).
We did not observe a statistically significant association between the 25(OH)D associated SNPs and CRC marginally, conditionally, or as a GRS, or for colon or rectal cancer separately or combined.
Our findings do not support an association between SNPs associated with circulating 25(OH)D and risk of CRC. Additional work is warranted to investigate the complex relationship between 25(OH)D and CRC risk.
There was no association observed between genetic markers of circulating 25(OH)D and CRC. These genetic markers account for a small proportion of the variance in 25(OH)D.
It is widely accepted that chronic inflammation plays a role in the etiology of colorectal cancer. Using a two-stage design, we examined the associations between colorectal cancer and common variation in 37 key genes in the inflammation and innate immunity pathways.
In the discovery stage, 2,322 discordant sibships (2,535 cases, 3,915 sibling controls) from the Colorectal Cancer Family Registry were genotyped for over 600 tagSNPs and 99 SNPs were selected for further examination based on strength of association. In the second stage, 351 SNPs tagging gene regions covered by the 99 SNPs were tested in 4,783 Multiethnic Cohort subjects (2,153 cases, 2,630 controls).
The association between rs9858822 in the PPARG gene and colorectal cancer was statistically significant at the end of the second stage (odds ratio per allele = 1.36, Bonferroni-adjusted P = 0.045), based on the “effective” number of markers in Stage 2 (n = 306). The risk allele C was common (frequency 0.3) in African Americans but rare (frequency < 0.03) in whites, Japanese Americans, Latinos and Native Hawaiians. No statistically significant heterogeneity of effects across race/ethnicity, BMI levels, regular aspirin use or pack-years of smoking was detected for this SNP. Suggestive associations were also observed for several SNPs in close vicinity to rs9858822.
Our results provide new evidence of association between PPARG variants and colorectal cancer risk.
Further replication in independent samples is warranted.
pathway approach; inflammation; colorectal cancer; minority population; immunity
The osteoprotogerin/receptor activator of NF-kappa β/receptor activator of NF-kappa β ligand (OPG/RANK/RANKL) pathway plays a critical role in bone remodeling. This study investigated associations between serum levels of OPG, soluble RANKL (sRANKL), and the ratio of OPG/sRANKL to risk of incident hip fracture.
A nested case–control study was conducted among postmenopausal, Caucasian women aged 50–79 at baseline (1993–1998), followed for hip fracture through March 2005 in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. 400 incident hip fracture cases were selected and individually matched to 400 controls with noprior fracture or incident hip fracture. Matching factors were baseline age, enrollment date and hormone therapy (HT) exposure. Baseline serum OPG and sRANKL levels were measured using high sensitivity ELISA. Odds ratios were computed for quartiles of each biomarker adjusting for matching factors and hip fracture risk factors.
Serum OPG was significantly associated with older age, low physical activity and poorer physical function in control women. sRANKL was inversely associated with total calcium intake in control women, but not associated with age or other fracture risk factors. The odds ratio for hip fracture comparing the highest to lowest quartiles of OPG was 2.28 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.45–3.61) after adjusting for the matching variables (p-value for linear trend <0.001), and 1.87 (95% CI, 1.15–3.04; p for linear trend = 0.02) after adjusting for self-rated health status, physical activity and physical functioning. No significant associations between sRANKL or the ratio of OPG/sRANKL and hip fracture risk were observed.
Serum OPG levels were independently associated with a nearly twofold increased risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women.
RANKL; Osteoprotogerin; Hip fracture; Osteoporosis; Postmenopausal women
Numerous common genetic variants that influence plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) distributions have been identified via genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, whether or not these associations are age dependent has largely been overlooked. We conducted an association study and meta-analysis in more than 22,000 European Americans between 49 previously identified GWAS variants and the three lipid traits, stratified by age (males: <50 or ≥50 years of age; females: pre- or post-menopausal). For each variant, a test of heterogeneity was performed between the two age strata and significant Phet values were used as evidence of age-specific genetic effects. We identified seven associations in females and eight in males that displayed suggestive heterogeneity by age (Phet<0.05). The association between rs174547 (FADS1) and LDL-C in males displayed the most evidence for heterogeneity between age groups (Phet=1.74E-03, I2=89.8), with a significant association in older males (P=1.39E-06) but not younger males (P=0.99). However, none of the suggestive modifying effects survived adjustment for multiple testing, highlighting the challenges of identifying modifiers of modest SNP-trait associations despite large sample sizes.
PAGE; modifier; age; lipids; genetic association
Colorectal cancer (CRC) in densely affected families without Lynch Syndrome may be due to mutations in undiscovered genetic loci. Familial linkage analyses have yielded disparate results; the use of exome sequencing in coding regions may identify novel segregating variants.
We completed exome sequencing on 40 affected cases from 16 multi-case pedigrees to identify novel loci. Variants shared among all sequenced cases within each family were identified and filtered to exclude common variants and single nucleotide variants (SNVs) predicted to be benign.
We identified 32 nonsense or splice-site SNVs, 375 missense SNVs, 1,394 synonymous or non-coding SNVs, and 50 indels in the 16 families. Of particular interest are two validated and replicated missense variants in CENPE and KIF23, which are both located within previously reported CRC linkage regions, on chromosomes 1 and 15, respectively.
Whole-exome sequencing identified DNA variants in multiple genes. Additional sequencing of these genes in additional samples will further elucidate the role of variants in these regions in colorectal cancer susceptibility.
Exome sequencing of familial CRC cases can identify novel rare variants that may influence disease risk.
colorectal cancer; familial and hereditary cancers; exome sequencing; rare variants; family study design
Microsatellite stable (MSS), CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP)-negative colorectal tumors, the most prevalent molecular subtype of colorectal cancer, are associated with extensive copy number alteration (CNA) events and aneuploidy. We report on the identification of characteristic recurrent CNA (with frequency >25%) events and associated gene expression profiles for a total of 40 paired tumor and adjacent normal colon tissues using genome-wide microarrays. We observed recurrent CNAs, namely gains at 1q, 7p, 7q, 8p12-11, 8q, 12p13, 13q, 20p, 20q, Xp, and Xq and losses at 1p36, 1p31, 1p21, 4p15-12, 4q12-35, 5q21-22, 6q26, 8p, 14q, 15q11-12, 17p, 18p, 18q, 21q21-22, and 22q. Within these genomic regions we identified 356 genes with significant differential expression (P<0.0001 and ±1.5 fold change) in the tumor compared to adjacent normal tissue. Gene ontology and pathway analyses indicated that many of these genes were involved in functional mechanisms that regulate cell cycle, cell death, and metabolism. An amplicon present in >70% of the tumor samples at 20q11-20q13 contained several cancer-related genes (AHCY, POFUT1, RPN2, TH1L and PRPF6) that were up-regulated and demonstrated a significant linear correlation (P<0.05) for gene dosage and gene expression. Copy number loss at 8p, a CNA associated with adenocarcinoma and poor prognosis, was observed in >50% of the tumor samples and demonstrated a significant linear correlation for gene dosage and gene expression for two potential tumor suppressor genes, MTUS1 (8p22) and PPP2CB (8p12). The results from our integration analysis illustrate the complex relationship between genomic alterations and gene expression in colon cancer.
Genome-wide association studies have identified at least 15 independent common genetic variants associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. The aim of this study was to investigate whether 11 of these variants are associated with CRC risk for carriers of germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes.
A total of 927 MMR gene mutation carriers (360 MLH1, 442 MSH2, 85 MSH6 and 40 PMS2) from 315 families enrolled in the Colon Cancer Family Registry, were genotyped for the SNPs: rs16892766 (8q23.3), rs6983267 (8q24.21), rs719725 (9p24), rs10795668 (10p14), rs3802842 (11q23.1), rs4444235 (14q22.2), rs4779584 (15q13.3), rs9929218 (16q22.1), rs4939827 (18q21.1), rs10411210 (19q13.1) and rs961253 (20p12.3). We used a weighted Cox regression to estimate CRC risk for homozygous and heterozygous carriers of the risk allele compared with homozygous non-carriers as well as for an additive per allele model (on the log scale).
Over a total of 40,978 person-years observation, 426 (46%) carriers were diagnosed with CRC at a mean age of 44.3 years. For all carriers combined, we found no evidence of an association between CRC risk and the total number of risk alleles (hazard ratio [HR] per risk allele=0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.88–1.07, p=0.52).
We found no evidence that the SNPs associated with CRC in the general population are modifiers of the risk for MMR gene mutation carriers overall, and therefore any evidence of proven clinical utility in Lynch syndrome.
genetic variant; colorectal cancer; Lynch syndrome; mismatch repair
Arachidonate lipoxygenase (ALOX) enzymes metabolize arachidonic acid to generate potent inflammatory mediators and play an important role in inflammation-associated diseases. We investigated associations between colorectal cancer risk and polymorphisms in ALOX5, FLAP, ALOX12, and ALOX15, and their interactions with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use. We genotyped fifty tagSNPs, one candidate SNP, and two functional promoter variable nucleotide tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms in three US population-based case-control studies of colon cancer (1424 cases/1780 controls), rectal cancer (583 cases/775 controls), and colorectal adenomas (485 cases/578 controls). Individuals with variant genotypes of the ALOX5 VNTR had decreased risk of rectal cancer, with the strongest association seen for individuals with one or more alleles of >5 repeats (wildtype=5, OR>5/≥5=0.42, 95% CI 0.20-0.92; p=0.01). Four SNPs in FLAP (rs17239025), ALOX 12 (rs2073438), and ALOX15 (rs4796535 and rs2619112) were associated with rectal cancer risk at p≤0.05. One SNP in FLAP (rs12429692) was associated with adenoma risk. A false discovery rate (FDR) was applied to account for false positives due to multiple testing; the ALOX15 associations were noteworthy at 25% FDR. Colorectal neoplasia risk appeared to be modified by NSAID use in individuals with variant alleles in FLAP and ALOX15. One noteworthy interaction (25% FDR) was observed for rectal cancer. Genetic variability in arachidonate lipoxygenases may affect risk of colorectal neoplasia, particularly for rectal cancer. Additionally, genetic variability in FLAP and ALOX15 may modify the protective effect of NSAID use against colorectal neoplasia.
Dietary factors, including meat, fruits, vegetables and fiber, are associated with colorectal cancer; however, there is limited information as to whether these dietary factors interact with genetic variants to modify risk of colorectal cancer. We tested interactions between these dietary factors and approximately 2.7 million genetic variants for colorectal cancer risk among 9,287 cases and 9,117 controls from ten studies. We used logistic regression to investigate multiplicative gene-diet interactions, as well as our recently developed Cocktail method that involves a screening step based on marginal associations and gene-diet correlations and a testing step for multiplicative interactions, while correcting for multiple testing using weighted hypothesis testing. Per quartile increment in the intake of red and processed meat were associated with statistically significant increased risks of colorectal cancer and vegetable, fruit and fiber intake with lower risks. From the case-control analysis, we detected a significant interaction between rs4143094 (10p14/near GATA3) and processed meat consumption (OR = 1.17; p = 8.7E-09), which was consistently observed across studies (p heterogeneity = 0.78). The risk of colorectal cancer associated with processed meat was increased among individuals with the rs4143094-TG and -TT genotypes (OR = 1.20 and OR = 1.39, respectively) and null among those with the GG genotype (OR = 1.03). Our results identify a novel gene-diet interaction with processed meat for colorectal cancer, highlighting that diet may modify the effect of genetic variants on disease risk, which may have important implications for prevention.
High intake of red and processed meat and low intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. We investigate if the effect of these dietary factors on colorectal cancer risk is modified by common genetic variants across the genome (total of about 2.7 million genetic variants), also known as gene-diet interactions. We included over 9,000 colorectal cancer cases and 9,000 controls that were not diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Our results provide strong evidence for a gene-diet interaction and colorectal cancer risk between a genetic variant (rs4143094) on chromosome 10p14 near the gene GATA3 and processed meat consumption (p = 8.7E-09). This genetic locus may have interesting biological significance given its location in the genome. Our results suggest that genetic variants may interact with diet and in combination affect colorectal cancer risk, which may have important implications for personalized cancer care and provide novel insights into prevention strategies.
Blood pressure (BP) is a heritable determinant of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). To investigate genetic associations with systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP), we genotyped ∼50 000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that capture variation in ∼2100 candidate genes for cardiovascular phenotypes in 61 619 individuals of European ancestry from cohort studies in the USA and Europe. We identified novel associations between rs347591 and SBP (chromosome 3p25.3, in an intron of HRH1) and between rs2169137 and DBP (chromosome1q32.1 in an intron of MDM4) and between rs2014408 and SBP (chromosome 11p15 in an intron of SOX6), previously reported to be associated with MAP. We also confirmed 10 previously known loci associated with SBP, DBP, MAP or PP (ADRB1, ATP2B1, SH2B3/ATXN2, CSK, CYP17A1, FURIN, HFE, LSP1, MTHFR, SOX6) at array-wide significance (P < 2.4 × 10−6). We then replicated these associations in an independent set of 65 886 individuals of European ancestry. The findings from expression QTL (eQTL) analysis showed associations of SNPs in the MDM4 region with MDM4 expression. We did not find any evidence of association of the two novel SNPs in MDM4 and HRH1 with sequelae of high BP including coronary artery disease (CAD), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) or stroke. In summary, we identified two novel loci associated with BP and confirmed multiple previously reported associations. Our findings extend our understanding of genes involved in BP regulation, some of which may eventually provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Heritable factors contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. Identifying the genetic loci associated with colorectal tumor formation could elucidate the mechanisms of pathogenesis.
We conducted a genome-wide association study that included 14 studies, 12,696 cases of colorectal tumors (11,870 cancer, 826 adenoma), and 15,113 controls of European descent. The 10 most statistically significant, previously unreported findings were followed up in 6 studies; these included 3056 colorectal tumor cases (2098 cancer, 958 adenoma) and 6658 controls of European and Asian descent.
Based on the combined analysis, we identified a locus that reached the conventional genome-wide significance level at less than 5.0 × 10−8: an intergenic region on chromosome 2q32.3, close to nucleic acid binding protein 1 (most significant single nucleotide polymorphism: rs11903757; odds ratio [OR], 1.15 per risk allele; P = 3.7 × 10−8). We also found evidence for 3 additional loci with P values less than 5.0 × 10−7: a locus within the laminin gamma 1 gene on chromosome 1q25.3 (rs10911251; OR, 1.10 per risk allele; P = 9.5 × 10−8), a locus within the cyclin D2 gene on chromosome 12p13.32 (rs3217810 per risk allele; OR, 0.84; P = 5.9 × 10−8), and a locus in the T-box 3 gene on chromosome 12q24.21 (rs59336; OR, 0.91 per risk allele; P = 3.7 × 10−7).
In a large genome-wide association study, we associated polymorphisms close to nucleic acid binding protein 1 (which encodes a DNA-binding protein involved in DNA repair) with colorectal tumor risk. We also provided evidence for an association between colorectal tumor risk and polymorphisms in laminin gamma 1 (this is the second gene in the laminin family to be associated with colorectal cancers), cyclin D2 (which encodes for cyclin D2), and T-box 3 (which encodes a T-box transcription factor and is a target of Wnt signaling to β-catenin). The roles of these genes and their products in cancer pathogenesis warrant further investigation.
Colon Cancer; Genetics; Risk Factors; SNP
Risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is higher among individuals with a family history or a prior diagnosis of other cancers. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have suggested that some genetic susceptibility variants are associated with multiple complex traits (pleiotropy).
We investigated whether common risk variants identified in cancer GWAS may also increase the risk of developing NHL as the first primary cancer.
As part of the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) consortium, 113 cancer risk variants were analyzed in 1,441 NHL cases and 24,183 controls from three studies (BioVU, Multiethnic Cohort Study, Women's Health Initiative) for their association with the risk of overall NHL and common subtypes [diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma (FL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL)] using an additive genetic model adjusted for age, sex and ethnicity. Study-specific results for each variant were meta-analyzed across studies.
The analysis of NHL subtype-specific GWAS SNPs and overall NHL suggested a shared genetic susceptibility between FL and DLBCL, particularly involving variants in the major histocompatibility complex region (rs6457327 in 6p21.33: FL OR = 1.29, p = 0.013; DLBCL OR = 1.23, p = 0.013; NHL OR = 1.22, p = 5.9×E-05). In the pleiotropy analysis, six risk variants for other cancers were associated with NHL risk, including variants for lung (rs401681 in TERT: OR per C allele = 0.89, p = 3.7×E-03; rs4975616 in TERT: OR per A allele = 0.90, p = 0.01; rs3131379 in MSH5: OR per T allele = 1.16, p = 0.03), prostate (rs7679673 in TET2: OR per C allele = 0.89, p = 5.7×E-03; rs10993994 in MSMB: OR per T allele = 1.09, p = 0.04), and breast (rs3817198 in LSP1: OR per C allele = 1.12, p = 0.01) cancers, but none of these associations remained significant after multiple test correction.
This study does not support strong pleiotropic effects of non-NHL cancer risk variants in NHL etiology; however, larger studies are warranted.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 36 loci associated with body mass index (BMI), predominantly in populations of European ancestry. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association of >3.2 million SNPs with BMI in 39,144 men and women of African ancestry, and followed up the most significant associations in an additional 32,268 individuals of African ancestry. We identified one novel locus at 5q33 (GALNT10, rs7708584, p=3.4×10−11) and another at 7p15 when combined with data from the Giant consortium (MIR148A/NFE2L3, rs10261878, p=1.2×10−10). We also found suggestive evidence of an association at a third locus at 6q16 in the African ancestry sample (KLHL32, rs974417, p=6.9×10−8). Thirty-two of the 36 previously established BMI variants displayed directionally consistent effect estimates in our GWAS (binomial p=9.7×10−7), of which five reached genome-wide significance. These findings provide strong support for shared BMI loci across populations as well as for the utility of studying ancestrally diverse populations.
A multi-ethnic study demonstrates that the extrapolation of genetic disease risk models from European populations to other ethnicities is compromised more strongly by genetic structure than by environmental or global genetic background in differential genetic risk associations across ethnicities.
The vast majority of genome-wide association study (GWAS) findings reported to date are from populations with European Ancestry (EA), and it is not yet clear how broadly the genetic associations described will generalize to populations of diverse ancestry. The Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study is a consortium of multi-ancestry, population-based studies formed with the objective of refining our understanding of the genetic architecture of common traits emerging from GWAS. In the present analysis of five common diseases and traits, including body mass index, type 2 diabetes, and lipid levels, we compare direction and magnitude of effects for GWAS-identified variants in multiple non-EA populations against EA findings. We demonstrate that, in all populations analyzed, a significant majority of GWAS-identified variants have allelic associations in the same direction as in EA, with none showing a statistically significant effect in the opposite direction, after adjustment for multiple testing. However, 25% of tagSNPs identified in EA GWAS have significantly different effect sizes in at least one non-EA population, and these differential effects were most frequent in African Americans where all differential effects were diluted toward the null. We demonstrate that differential LD between tagSNPs and functional variants within populations contributes significantly to dilute effect sizes in this population. Although most variants identified from GWAS in EA populations generalize to all non-EA populations assessed, genetic models derived from GWAS findings in EA may generate spurious results in non-EA populations due to differential effect sizes. Regardless of the origin of the differential effects, caution should be exercised in applying any genetic risk prediction model based on tagSNPs outside of the ancestry group in which it was derived. Models based directly on functional variation may generalize more robustly, but the identification of functional variants remains challenging.
The number of known associations between human diseases and common genetic variants has grown dramatically in the past decade, most being identified in large-scale genetic studies of people of Western European origin. But because the frequencies of genetic variants can differ substantially between continental populations, it's important to assess how well these associations can be extended to populations with different continental ancestry. Are the correlations between genetic variants, disease endpoints, and risk factors consistent enough for genetic risk models to be reliably applied across different ancestries? Here we describe a systematic analysis of disease outcome and risk-factor–associated variants (tagSNPs) identified in European populations, in which we test whether the effect size of a tagSNP is consistent across six populations with significant non-European ancestry. We demonstrate that although nearly all such tagSNPs have effects in the same direction across all ancestries (i.e., variants associated with higher risk in Europeans will also be associated with higher risk in other populations), roughly a quarter of the variants tested have significantly different magnitude of effect (usually lower) in at least one non-European population. We therefore advise caution in the use of tagSNP-based genetic disease risk models in populations that have a different genetic ancestry from the population in which original associations were first made. We then show that this differential strength of association can be attributed to population-dependent variations in the correlation between tagSNPs and the variant that actually determines risk—the so-called functional variant. Risk models based on functional variants are therefore likely to be more robust than tagSNP-based models.
Pancreatic phospholipase A2, product of PLA2G1B, catalyzes the release of fatty acids from dietary phospholipids.Diet is the ultimate source of arachidonic acid in cellular phospholipids, precursor of eicosanoid signaling molecules, linked to inflammation, cell proliferation and colorectal carcinogenesis. We evaluated the association of PLA2G1B tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms with colorectal neoplasia risk. A linkage-disequilibrium-based tagSNP algorithm (r2=0.90, MAF≥4%) identified three tagSNPs. The SNPs were genotyped on the Illumina platform in three population-based, case-control studies: colon cancer (1424 cases/1780 controls); rectal cancer (583/775); colorectal adenomas (485/578). Evaluating gene-wide associations, principal-component and haplotype analysis were conducted, individual SNPs were evaluated by logistic regression. Two PLA2G1B variants were statistically significantly associated with reduced risk of rectal cancer (rs5637, 3702 G>A Ser98Ser, p-trend=0.03; rs9657930, 1593 C>T, p-trend=0.01); principal component analysis showed that genetic variation in the gene overall was statistically significantly associated with rectal cancer (p=0.02). NSAID users with the rs2070873 variant had a reduced rectal cancer risk (P-inter=0.02). Specific associations were observed with tumor subtypes (TP53/KRAS). The results suggest that genetic polymorphisms in PLA2G1B affect susceptibility to rectal cancer.
Phospholipase A2G1B; polymorphism; colorectal neoplasia; case-control study
Inflammatory processes, including, specifically, the inflammatory conditions Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) predispose to colorectal cancer. Interleukin-23 is part of pro-inflammatory signaling and genetic variation in the interleukin-23 receptor (IL23R) has been consistently associated with CD and UC risk. In three case-control studies of colorectal adenoma (n = 485 cases/578 controls), colon cancer (n = 1424 cases/1780 controls) and rectal cancer (n = 583 cases/775 controls), we investigated associations between 18 candidate and tagSNPs in IL23R and risk. The three studies were genotyped using an identical Illumina GoldenGate assay, allowing thorough investigation of genetic variability across stages and locations of colorectal neoplasia. We further investigated associations with molecular subtypes (MSI+, CIMP+, KRAS2mut, TP53mut) of colon and rectal cancers. In this comprehensive study of genetic variability in IL23R across the spectrum of colorectal carcinogenesis, as well as within colon and rectal tumor molecular subtypes, we observed associations between SNPs in IL23R and risk of rectal cancer:, the 88413 C > A (rs10889675) and 69450 C > A (rs7542081) polymorphisms were associated with decreased rectal cancer risk overall and specifically with rectal tumors bearing a TP53 mutation. 88413C > A (rs10889675) was also associated with a statistically non-significant decreased risk of adenomas. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, there were no statistically significant associations in any of the three studies. These data provide some evidence that genetic variability in IL23R may contribute to rectal cancer risk and add further support to the role of IL23R in gastrointestinal diseases.
IL23R; colorectal cancer; colorectal polyps; genetics
Women who receive chemotherapy for a first primary breast cancer have been observed to have a reduced risk of contralateral breast cancer (CBC), however, whether the genetic profile of a patient modifies this protective effect is currently not understood. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of germline genetic variation in genes coding for drug metabolizing enzymes, transporters, and targets on the association between chemotherapy and risk of CBC.
From the population-based Women’s Environment Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology (WECARE) Study, we included 636 Caucasian women with CBC (cases) and 1,224 women with unilateral breast cancer (controls). The association between common chemotherapeutic regimens, CMF and FAC/FEC, and risk of CBC stratified by genotype of 180 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 14 genes selected for their known involvement in metabolism, action, and transport of breast cancer chemotherapeutic agents, were determined using conditional logistic regression.
CMF (RR = 0.5, 95 % CI 0.4, 0.7) and FAC/FEC (RR = 0.7, 95 % CI 0.4, 1.0) are associated with lower CBC risk relative to no chemotherapy in multivariable-adjusted models. Here we show that genotype of selected genes involved in the metabolism and uptake of these therapeutic agents does not significantly alter the protective effect of either CMF or FAC/FEC on risk of CBC.
The results of this study show that germline genetic variation in selected gene does not significantly alter the protective effect of CMF, FAC, and FEC on risk of CBC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10552-013-0237-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Genetic variation; Chemotherapy; CMF; Contralateral breast cancer
Glutathione peroxidases (GPXs) are selenium-dependent enzymes that reduce and, thus, detoxify hydrogen peroxide and a wide variety of lipid hydroperoxides. We investigated tagSNPs in GPX1-4 in relation to colorectal neoplasia in three independent study populations capturing the range of colorectal carcinogenesis from adenoma to cancer. A linkage-disequilibrium (LD)-based tagSNP selection algorithm (r2≥0.90, MAF≥4%) identified 21 tagSNPs. We used an identical Illumina platform to genotype GPX SNPs in three population-based case-control studies of colon cancer (1424 cases/1780 controls), rectal cancer (583 cases/775 controls), and colorectal adenomas (485 cases/578 controls). For gene-level associations, we conducted principal components analysis (PCA); multiple logistic regression was used for single SNPs. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, and study center and restricted to non-Hispanic white participants. Analyses of cancer endpoints were stratified by molecular subtypes. Without correction for multiple testing, one polymorphism in GPX2 and three polymorphisms in GPX3 were associated with a significant risk reduction for rectal cancer at α=0.05, specifically for rectal cancers with TP53 mutations. The associations regarding the three polymorphisms in GPX3 remained statistically significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. The PCA confirmed an overall association of GPX3 with rectal cancer (p=0.03). No other statistically significant associations were observed. Our data provide preliminary evidence that genetic variability in GPX3 contributes to risk of rectal cancer but not of colon cancer and thusprovide additional support for differences in underlying pathogenetic mechanisms for colon and rectal cancer.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) levels are influenced by both genes and the environment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified ~100 common genetic variants associated with HDL-C, LDL-C, and/or TG levels, mostly in populations of European descent, but little is known about the modifiers of these associations. Here, we investigated whether GWAS-identified SNPs for lipid traits exhibited heterogeneity by sex in the Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) study.
A sex-stratified meta-analysis was performed for 49 GWAS-identified SNPs for fasting HDL-C, LDL-C, and ln(TG) levels among adults self-identified as European American (25,013). Heterogeneity by sex was established when phet < 0.001. There was evidence for heterogeneity by sex for two SNPs for ln(TG) in the APOA1/C3/A4/A5/BUD13 gene cluster: rs28927680 (phet = 7.4x10-7) and rs3135506 (phet = 4.3x10-4), one SNP in PLTP for HDL levels (rs7679; phet = 9.9x10-4), and one in HMGCR for LDL levels (rs12654264; phet = 3.1x10-5). We replicated heterogeneity by sex in five of seventeen loci previously reported by genome-wide studies (binomial p = 0.0009). We also present results for other racial/ethnic groups in the supplementary materials, to provide a resource for future meta-analyses.
We provide further evidence for sex-specific effects of SNPs in the APOA1/C3/A4/A5/BUD13 gene cluster, PLTP, and HMGCR on fasting triglyceride levels in European Americans from the PAGE study. Our findings emphasize the need for considering context-specific effects when interpreting genetic associations emerging from GWAS, and also highlight the difficulties in replicating interaction effects across studies and across racial/ethnic groups.
Lipids; Genetics; Cardiovascular disease; Heterogeneity; Sex-specific effect; Association study
Selenium is an essential trace element and circulating selenium concentrations have been associated with a wide range of diseases. Candidate gene studies suggest that circulating selenium concentrations may be impacted by genetic variation; however, no study has comprehensively investigated this hypothesis. Therefore, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study to identify genetic variants associated with serum selenium concentrations in 1203 European descents from two cohorts: the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening and the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). We tested association between 2,474,333 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and serum selenium concentrations using linear regression models. In the first stage (PLCO) 41 SNPs clustered in 15 regions had p < 1 × 10−5. None of these 41 SNPs reached the significant threshold (p = 0.05/15 regions = 0.003) in the second stage (WHI). Three SNPs had p < 0.05 in the second stage (rs1395479 and rs1506807 in 4q34.3/AGA-NEIL3; and rs891684 in 17q24.3/SLC39A11) and had p between 2.62 × 10−7 and 4.04 × 10−7 in the combined analysis (PLCO + WHI). Additional studies are needed to replicate these findings. Identification of genetic variation that impacts selenium concentrations may contribute to a better understanding of which genes regulate circulating selenium concentrations.
selenium; serum; selenoprotein; genome-wide association study; AGA; NEIL3; SLC39A11