Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules, which can act as either oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Dysregulated expression of miRNA genes have been implicated in the development of many different cancers. We hypothesize that genetic variations in miRNA biogenesis genes may be associated with the prognosis of bladder cancer. We genotyped 76 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in eight miRNA biogenesis genes in 421 patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). We analyzed the associations of SNPs with recurrence and progression in all patients as well as stratified by treatment: transurethral resection (TUR) alone or TUR plus intravesical bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) instillation. Two SNPs were significantly associated with tumor recurrence in TUR only subgroup after adjustment for multiple comparisons (Q < 0.1). The most significant SNP was rs197412 in DDX20: the variant allele conferred a decreased risk of recurrence [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.58, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.40–0.82]. This SNP was validated in a separate group of 586 NMIBC patients and the pooled HR was 0.62 (95% CI = 0.48–0.81, P < 0.001). Two linked SNPs (rs2073778 and rs720012) in DGCR8 showed significant association with tumor progression (HR = 4.00, 95% CI = 1.53–10.46, P = 0.005). A strong gene-dosage effect was observed with higher risk for tumor recurrence and progression with increasing number of unfavorable genotypes. Haplotype and survival tree analyses further characterized the association of miRNA-related SNPs with tumor recurrence and progression. Taken together, our results indicate that genetic variants in miRNA biogenesis pathway may influence bladder cancer clinical outcome in NMIBC patients.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients are at an increased risk of developing a second primary tumor (SPT) or recurrence following curative treatment. 13-cis-retinoic acid (13-cRA) has been tested in chemoprevention clinical trials but the results have been inconclusive. We genotyped 9,465 SNPs in 450 patients from the Retinoid Head and Neck Second Primary Trial. SNPs were analyzed for associations with SPT/recurrence in patients receiving placebo to identify prognosis markers and further analyzed for effects of 13-cRA in patients with these prognostic loci. Thirteen loci identified a majority subgroup of patients at a high risk of SPT/recurrence and in whom 13-cRA was protective. Patients carrying the common genotype of rs3118570 in the retinoid X receptor (RXRA) were at a 3.33-fold increased risk (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.67–6.67) and represented over 70% of the study population. This locus also identified individuals who received benefit from chemoprevention with a 38% reduced risk (95% CI, 0.43–0.90). Analyses of cumulative effect and potential gene-gene interactions also implicated CDC25C:rs6596428 and JAK2:rs1887427 as two other genetic loci with major roles in prognosis and 13-cRA response. Patients with all three common genotypes had a 76% reduction in SPT/recurrence (95% CI, 0.093–0.64) following 13-cRA chemoprevention. Carriers of these common genotypes constituted a substantial percentage of the study population, indicating that a pharmacogenetics approach could help select patients for 13-cRA chemoprevention. The lack of any alternatives for reducing risk in these patients highlights the need for future clinical trials to prospectively validate our findings.
HNSCC; SPT; single nucleotide polymorphisms; retinoids
Given the density of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human genome and the sensitivity of single nucleotide changes in microRNA (miRNA) functionality and processing, we asked whether polymorphisms within miRNA processing pathways and binding sites may influence non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients’ prognosis. We genotyped 240 miRNA-related SNPs in 535 stage I and II NSCLC patients to determine associations with overall recurrence and survival, as well as effect in specific treatment subgroups. After correcting for multiple comparisons, the G allele of FZD4:rs713065 displayed a significant association with decreased risk of death in surgery-only patients (HR:0.46, 95%CI:0.32-0.65). DROSHA:rs6886834 variant A allele (HR:6.38, 95%CI:2.49-16.31) remained significant for increased risk of recurrence in the overall and surgery-only populations, respectively. FAS:rs2234978 G allele remained significantly associated with survival in all patients (HR:0.59, 95%CI:0.44-0.77), while borderline significant in subgroups (surgery only: HR:0.59, 95%CI:0.42-0.84; surgery plus chemo: HR:0.19, 95%CI:0.07-0.46). Luciferase assays demonstrated that the FAS SNP created a miR-651 functional binding site. Survival tree analysis was performed to classify patients into distinct risk subgroups based on their risk genotype combinations. These results indicate that miRNA-related polymorphisms may be associated with NSCLC patients’ clinical outcomes through altered miRNA regulation of target genes.
NSCLC; recurrence; overall survival; early stage; miRNA; binding site; single nucleotide polymorphism
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is the precursor lesion of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA), whose progression follows sequential stages. However, the low progression rate and the inadequacy and subjective interpretation of histological grading in predicting BE progression call for more objective biomarkers that can improve risk prediction. We performed a genome-wide profiling of 754 human microRNAs (miRNAs) in 35 normal epithelium (NE), 34 BE, and 36 EA tissues using Taqman real-time PCR-based profiling. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering using 294 modestly to highly expressed miRNAs showed clear clustering of two groups: NE versus BE/EA tissues. Moreover, there was an excellent clustering of Barrett’s metaplasia (BM, without dysplasia) tissues from NE tissues. However, BE tissues of different stages and EA tissues were interspersed. There were differentially expressed miRNAs at different stages. The majority of miRNA aberrations involved upregulation of expression in BE and EA tissues, with the most dramatic alterations occurring at the BM stage. Known oncomirs, such as miR-21, miR-25 and miR-223, and tumor suppressor miRNAs, including miR-205, miR-203, let-7c, and miR-133a, showed progressively altered expression from BE to EA. We also identified a number of novel miRNAs that showed progressively altered expression, including miR-301b, miR-618, and miR-23b. The significant miRNA alterations that were exclusive to EA but not BE included miR-375 downregulation and upregulation of five members of the miR-17-92 and its homologue clusters, which may become promising biomarkers for EA development.
microRNA expression; Barrett’s esophagus; esophageal cancer
HNF1B is overexpressed in clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer, and we observed epigenetic silencing in serous epithelial ovarian cancer, leading us to hypothesize that variation in this gene differentially associates with epithelial ovarian cancer risk according to histological subtype. Here we comprehensively map variation in HNF1B with respect to epithelial ovarian cancer risk and analyse DNA methylation and expression profiles across histological subtypes. Different single-nucleotide polymorphisms associate with invasive serous (rs7405776 odds ratio (OR) = 1.13, P = 3.1 × 10−10) and clear cell (rs11651755 OR = 0.77, P = 1.6 × 10−8) epithelial ovarian cancer. Risk alleles for the serous subtype associate with higher HNF1B-promoter methylation in these tumours. Unmethylated, expressed HNF1B, primarily present in clear cell tumours, coincides with a CpG island methylator phenotype affecting numerous other promoters throughout the genome. Different variants in HNF1B associate with risk of serous and clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer; DNA methylation and expression patterns are also notably distinct between these subtypes. These findings underscore distinct mechanisms driving different epithelial ovarian cancer histological subtypes.
The development of second primary tumors (SPT) or recurrence alters prognosis for curatively-treated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. 13-cis-retnoic acid (13-cRA) has been tested as a chemoprevention agent in clinical trials with mixed results. Therefore, we investigated if genetic variants in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/MTOR pathway could serve as biomarkers to identify which patients are at high risk of an SPT/recurrence while also predicting response to 13-cRA chemoprevention.
A total of 137 pathway SNPs were genotyped in 440 patients from the Retinoid Head and Neck Second Primary Trial and assessed for SPT/recurrence risk and response to 13-cRA. Risk models were created based on epidemiology, clinical, and genetic data.
Twenty-two genetic loci were associated with increased SPT/recurrence risk with six also being associated with a significant benefit following chemoprevention. Combined analysis of these high-risk/high-benefit loci identified a significant (P = 1.54×10−4) dose-response relationship for SPT/recurrence risk, with patients carrying 4–5 high-risk genotypes having a 3.76-fold (95%CI:1.87–7.57) increase in risk in the placebo group (n=215). Patients carrying 4–5 high-risk loci showed the most benefit from 13-cRA chemoprevention with a 73% reduction in SPT/recurrence (95%CI:0.13–0.58) compared to those with the same number of high-risk genotypes who were randomized to receive placebo. Incorporation of these loci into a risk model significantly improved the discriminatory ability over models with epidemiology, clinical, and previously identified genetic variables.
These results demonstrate that loci within this important pathway could identify individuals with a high-risk/high-benefit profile and are a step towards personalized chemoprevention for HNSCC patients.
There are 516 known kinases in the human genome. Because of their important role maintaining proper cellular function, they are often misregulated during tumorigenesis and associated with clinical outcomes in cancer patients, including clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). However, less is known about the global expression status of these genes in renal cell carcinoma and their association with clinical outcomes. We performed a systematic analysis of gene expression for 503 kinases in 93 tumor samples and adjacent normal tissues. Expression patterns for 41 kinases were able to clearly differentiate tumor and normal samples. Expression of I-kappa-B kinase epsilon (IKBKE) was associated with a 5.3-fold increased risk of dying [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.93–14.59, P-value: 0.0012]. Individuals with high IKBKE expression were at a significantly increased risk of death (hazard ratio: 3.34, 95% CI: 1.07–10.40, P-value: 0.038) resulting in a significantly reduced overall survival time compared with those with low IKBKE tumor expression (P-value: 0.049). These results for IKBKE were validated in a replication population consisting of 237 ccRCC patients (P-value: 0.0021). Furthermore, IKBKE was observed to be higher expressed in tumors compared with adjacent normal tissues (P-value < 10−7). IKBKE is a member of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathway and interestingly, gene expression patterns for other members of the NF-κB pathway were not associated with survival, suggesting that IKBKE gene expression may be an independent marker of variation in overall survival. Overall, these results support a novel role for IKBKE expression in modulating overall survival in ccRCC patients.
Cell cycle progression contributes to the cellular response to DNA-damaging factors, such as chemotherapy and radiation. We hypothesized that the genetic variations in cell cycle pathway genes may modulate treatment responses and affect survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We genotyped 374 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 49 cell cycle-related genes in 598 patients with stages III–IV NSCLC treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy with/without radiation. We analyzed the individual and combined associations of these SNPs with survival and evaluated their gene–gene interactions using survival tree analysis. In the analysis of survival in all the patients, 39 SNPs reached nominal significance (P < 0.05) and 4 SNPs were significant at P <0.01. However, none of these SNPs remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons at a false discovery rate of 10%. In stratified analysis by treatment modality, after adjusting for multiple comparisons, nine SNPs in chemotherapy alone and one SNP in chemoradiation remained significant. The most significant SNP in chemotherapy group was CCNB2:rs1486878 [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25–2.30, P = 0.001]. TP73: rs3765701 was the only significant SNP in chemoradiation group (HR = 1.87; 95% CI = 1.35–2.59, P = 1.8 × 10−4). In cumulative analysis, we found a significant gene-dosage effect in patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Survival tree analysis demonstrated potential higher order gene–gene and gene–treatment interactions, which could be used to predict survival status based on distinct genetic signatures. These results suggest that genetic variations in cell cycle pathway genes may affect the survival of patients with stages III–IV NSCLC individually and jointly.
Clinical factors predicting pulmonary complications after lung resection have been well described, whereas the role of genetics is unknown. The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway has been linked to acute lung injury. We hypothesized that genetic variations in this pathway may be associated with postoperative pulmonary complications after lung resection.
One hundred ninety-six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 17 genes in the VEGF pathway were genotyped in a discovery set of 264 patients and a replication set of 264 patients who underwent lobectomy for lung cancer. Multivariable analysis adjusting for baseline clinical factors was used to identify SNPs associated with pulmonary complications. Cumulative and classification and regression tree (CART) analyses were used to further stratify risk groups.
The overall number of pulmonary complications was 164/528 (31%). The effects of 6 SNPs were consistent in the discovery and replication sets (pooled p value < 0.05). The rs9319425 SNP in the VEGF receptor gene FLT1 resulted in a 1.50-fold increased risk (1.15–1.96; p = 0.003). A cumulative effect for the number of risk genotypes and complications was also evident (p < 0.01). Patients carrying 5 risk genotypes had a 5.76-fold increase in risk (2.73–12.16; p = 4.44 × 10−6). Regression tree analysis identified potential gene-gene interactions between FLT1:rs9319425 and RAF1:rs713178. The addition of the 6 SNPs to the clinical model increased the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve by 6.8%.
Genetic variations in the VEGF pathway are associated with risk of pulmonary complications after lobectomy. This may offer insight into the underlying biological mechanisms of pulmonary complications.
The magnitude of benefit is variable for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. The purpose of this study is to determine whether genetic variations in the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) pathway are associated with clinical outcomes in NSCLC patients receiving first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Five hundred and ninety-eight advanced-stage NSCLC patients who received first-line platinum-based chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy were recruited at the MD Anderson Cancer Center between 1995 and 2007. DNA from blood was genotyped for 227 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 23 TGF-β pathway-related genes to evaluate their associations with overall survival. In individual SNP analysis, 22 variants were significantly associated with overall survival, of which the strongest associations were found for BMP2:rs235756 [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11–1.90] and SMAD3:rs4776342 (HR = 1.25; 95% CI, 1.06–1.47). Fifteen and 18 genetic loci displayed treatment-specific associations for chemotherapy and chemoradiation, respectively, identifying a majority of the cases who would be predicted to respond favorably to a specific treatment regimen. BMP2:rs235753 and a haplotype in SMAD3 were associated with overall survival for both treatment modalities. Cumulative effect analysis showed that multiple risk genotypes had a significant dose-dependent effect on overall survival (Ptrend = 2.44 x 10−15). Survival tree analysis identified subgroups of patients with dramatically different median survival times of 45.39 versus 13.55 months and 18.02 versus 5.89 months for high- and low- risk populations when treated with chemoradiation and chemotherapy, respectively. These results suggest that genetic variations in the TGF-β pathway are potential predictors of overall survival in NSCLC patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy with or without radiation.
Interindividual variation in genetic background may influence the response to chemotherapy and overall survival for patients with advanced-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
To identify genetic variants associated with poor overall survival in these patients, we conducted a genome-wide scan of 307 260 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 327 advanced-stage NSCLC patients who received platinum-based chemotherapy with or without radiation at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (the discovery population). A fast-track replication was performed for 315 patients from the Mayo Clinic followed by a second validation at the University of Pittsburgh in 420 patients enrolled in the Spanish Lung Cancer Group PLATAX clinical trial. A pooled analysis combining the Mayo Clinic and PLATAX populations or all three populations was also used to validate the results. We assessed the association of each SNP with overall survival by multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided.
SNP rs1878022 in the chemokine-like receptor 1 (CMKLR1) was statistically significantly associated with poor overall survival in the MD Anderson discovery population (hazard ratio [HR] of death = 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.32 to 1.92, P = 1.42 × 10−6), in the PLATAX clinical trial (HR of death = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.51, P = .05), in the pooled Mayo Clinic and PLATAX validation (HR of death = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.06 to 1.40, P = .005), and in pooled analysis of all three populations (HR of death = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.19 to 1.48, P = 5.13 × 10−7). Carrying a variant genotype of rs10937823 was associated with decreased overall survival (HR of death = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.42 to 2.33, P = 1.73 × 10−6) in the pooled MD Anderson and Mayo Clinic populations but not in the PLATAX trial patient population (HR of death = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.69 to 1.35).
These results have the potential to contribute to the future development of personalized chemotherapy treatments for individual NSCLC patients.
The phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been implicated in resistance to several chemotherapeutic agents. In this retrospective study, we determined whether common genetic variations in this pathway are associated with clinical outcomes in esophageal cancer patients with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma who have undergone chemoradiotherapy and surgery.
Patients and Methods
Sixteen tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT1, AKT2, and FRAP1 (encoding mTOR) were genotyped in these patients and analyzed for associations with response to therapy, survival, and recurrence.
We observed an increased recurrence risk with genetic variations in AKT1 and AKT2 (hazard ratio [HR], 2.21; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.60; and HR, 3.30; 95% CI, 1.64 to 6.66, respectively). This effect was magnified with an increasing number of AKT adverse genotypes. In contrast, a predictable protective effect by PTEN genetic variants on recurrence was evident. Survival tree analysis identified higher-order interactions that resulted in variation in recurrence-free survival from 12 to 42 months, depending on the combination of SNPs. Genetic variations in AKT1, AKT2, and FRAP1 were associated with survival. Patients homozygous for either of the FRAP1 SNPs assayed had a more than three-fold increased risk of death. Two genes—AKT2 and FRAP1—were associated with a poor treatment response, while a better response was associated with heterozygosity for AKT1:rs3803304 (odds ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.99).
These results suggest that common genetic variations in this pathway modulate clinical outcomes in patients who undergo chemoradiotherapy. With further validation, these results may be used to build a model of individualized therapy for the selection of the optimal chemotherapeutic regimen.
The proteasome is a multisubunit cellular organelle that functions as a nonlysosomal threonine protease. Proteasomes play a critical role in the degradation of proteins, regulating a variety of cellular processes, and they are also the target for antineoplastic proteasome inhibitors. Genetic variation in proteasome subunits could influence both proteasome function and response to drug therapy.
We resequenced genes encoding the three active proteasome β subunits using 240 DNA samples from four ethnic groups and the β5 subunit gene in 79 DNA samples from multiple myeloma patients who had been treated with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. Resequencing was followed by functional studies of polymorphisms identified in the coding region and 3′-flanking region (3′-FR) of PSMB5, the gene encoding the target for clinically useful proteasome inhibitors.
Resequencing of 240 DNA samples identified a series of novel ethnic-specific polymorphisms that are not represented in public databases.The PSMB5 3′-FR1042 G allele significantly increased transcription during reporter gene studies, observations confirmed by genotype-phenotype correlations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in PSMB5 and mRNA expression in the 240 lymphoblastoid cell lines from which the resequenced DNA was obtained. Studies with patient DNA samples identified additional novel PSMB5 polymorphisms, including a SNP and an insertion in the 3′-FR. Reporter-gene studies indicated that these two novel polymorphisms might decrease transcription.
These results show that nonsynonymous coding SNPs in the PSMB5 gene did not show significant effects on proteasome activity, but SNPs did influence transcription. Future studies might focus on regulatory region polymorphisms.
Genetic networks for gene expression data are often built by graphical models, which in turn are built from pairwise correlations of gene expression levels. A key feature of building graphical models is evaluation of conditional independence of two traits, given other traits. When conditional independence can be assumed, the traits that are conditioned on are considered to “explain” the correlation of a pair of traits, allowing efficient building and interpretation of a network. Overlaying genetic polymorphisms, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), on quantitative measures of gene expression provides a much richer set of data to build a genetic network, because it is possible to evaluate whether sets of SNPs “explain” the correlation of gene expression levels. However, there is strong evidence that gene expression levels are controlled by multiple interacting genes, suggesting that it will be difficult to reduce the partial correlation completely to zero. Ignoring the fact that some set of SNPs can explain at least part of the correlation between gene expression levels, if not all, might miss important clues on the genetic control of gene expression. To enrich the assessment of the causes of correlation between gene expression levels, we develop methods to evaluate whether a set of covariates (e.g., SNPs, or even a set of quantitative expression transcripts), explains at least some of the correlation of gene expression levels. These methods can be used to assist the interpretation of regulation of gene expression and the construction of gene regulation networks.
Fisher's z-transformation; Taylor expansion; model selection; pathway; association; multiple regression; optimal linear composites
We conducted a meta-analysis to identify new loci for testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) susceptibility. In the discovery phase, 931 affected individuals and 1,975 controls from three genome wide association studies (GWAS) were analyzed. Replication was conducted in six independent sample sets totaling 3,211 affected individuals and 7,591 controls. In the combined analysis, TGCT risk was significantly associated with markers at four novel loci: 4q22.2 in HPGDS (per allele odds ratio (OR) 1.19, 95%CI 1.12–1.26, P = 1.11×10−8); 7p22.3 in MAD1L1 (OR 1.21, 95%CI 1.14–1.29, P = 5.59×10−9); 16q22.3 in RFWD3 (OR 1.26, 95%CI 1.18–1.34, P = 5.15×10−12); and 17q22 (rs9905704; OR 1.27, 95%CI 1.18–1.33; P = 4.32×10−13, and rs7221274; OR 1.20, 95%CI 1.12–1.28 P = 4.04×10−9), a locus which includes TEX14, RAD51C and PPM1E. The new TGCT susceptibility loci contain biologically plausible genes encoding proteins important for male germ cell development, chromosomal segregation and DNA damage response.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most lethal urologic cancer. Only two common susceptibility loci for RCC have been confirmed to date. To identify additional RCC common susceptibility loci, we conducted an independent genome-wide association study (GWAS). We analyzed 533 191 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association with RCC in 894 cases and 1516 controls of European descent recruited from MD Anderson Cancer Center in the primary scan, and validated the top 500 SNPs in silico in 3772 cases and 8505 controls of European descent involved in the only published GWAS of RCC. We identified two common variants in linkage disequilibrium, rs718314 and rs1049380 (r2 = 0.64, D ′ = 0.84), in the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor, type 2 (ITPR2) gene on 12p11.23 as novel susceptibility loci for RCC (P = 8.89 × 10−10 and P = 6.07 × 10−9, respectively, in meta-analysis) with an allelic odds ratio of 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13–1.26] for rs718314 and 1.18 (95% CI: 1.12–1.25) for rs1049380. It has been recently identified that rs718314 in ITPR2 is associated with waist–hip ratio (WHR) phenotype. To our knowledge, this is the first genetic locus associated with both cancer risk and WHR.
Growing evidence suggests that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway genes play an important role in bladder cancer etiology. However, only a limited number of genes and variations in this pathway have been evaluated to date.
In this study, we applied a comprehensive pathway-based approach to assess the effects of 207 tagging and potentially functional SNPs in 26 NER genes on bladder cancer risk using a large case-control study consisting of 803 bladder cancer cases and 803 controls.
A total of 17 SNPs were significantly associated with altered bladder cancer risk at P<0.05, of which 7 SNPs retained noteworthiness after assessed by a Bayesian approach for the probability of false discovery. The most noteworthy SNP was rs11132186 in ING2 gene. Compared to the major allele-containing genotypes, the odds ratio (OR) was 0.52 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.32–0.83, P = 0.005) for the homozygous variant genotype. Three additional ING2 variants also exhibited significant associations with bladder cancer risk. Significant gene-smoking interactions were observed for three of the top 17 SNPs. Furthermore, through an exploratory classification and regression tree (CART) analysis, we identified potential gene-gene interactions.
We conducted a large association study of NER pathway with bladder cancer risk and identified several novel predisposition variants. We identified potential gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in modulating bladder cancer risk. Our results reinforce the importance of a comprehensive pathway-focused and tagging SNP-based candidate gene approach to identify low-penetrance cancer susceptibility loci.
bladder cancer; genetic susceptibility; nucleotide excision repair; SNP; gene-smoking interaction
NSCLC is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the US. Patients with NSCLC are mostly treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, often in combination with radiation therapy. However, the development of chemoresistance is a major hurdle limiting treatment success. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the genetic factors modulating chemoresistance to platinum chemotherapeutics and their association with clinical outcomes for NSCLC patients. We focus on candidate pathways responsible for drug influx and efflux, metabolism and detoxification, DNA damage repair, and other downstream cellular processes that modulate the effect of platinum-based therapy. We also discuss the application of pathway-based polygenic and genome-wide approaches in identifying genetic factors involved in NSCLC clinical outcomes. Overall, current studies have shown that the effects of each individual polymorphism on clinical outcomes are modest suggesting that a more comprehensive approach that incorporates polygenetic, phenotypic, epidemiologic and clinical variables will be necessary to predict prognosis for NSCLC patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapeutics.
carboplatin; chemotherapy; cisplatin; clinical outcomes; NSCLC
A germline microRNA binding site-disrupting variant, the KRAS-variant (rs61764370), is associated with an increased risk of developing several cancers. Because this variant is most strongly associated with ovarian cancer risk in patients from hereditary breast and ovarian families (HBOC), and with the risk of premenopausal triple negative breast cancer, we evaluated the association of the KRAS-variant with women with personal histories of both breast and ovarian cancer, referred to as double primary patients.
Germline DNA from double primary patients was tested for the KRAS-variant (n = 232). Confirmation of pathologic diagnoses, age of diagnoses, interval between ovarian cancer diagnosis and sample collection, additional cancer diagnoses, and family history were obtained when available. All patients were tested for deleterious BRCA mutations.
The KRAS-variant was significantly enriched in uninformative (BRCA negative) double primary patients, being found in 39% of patients accrued within two years of their ovarian cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, the KRAS-variant was found in 35% of uninformative double primary patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer post-menopausally, and was significantly associated with uninformative double primary patients with a positive family history. The KRAS-variant was also significantly enriched in uninformative patients who developed more then two primary cancers, being found in 48% of women with two breast primaries plus ovarian cancer or with triple primary cancers.
These findings further validate the importance of the KRAS-variant in breast and ovarian cancer risk, and support the association of this variant as a genetic marker for HBOC families previously considered uninformative.
Renal cell carcinoma is the eighth most common cancer in the United States and clear cell renal carcinoma is the most common type. Many signaling pathways are implicated in clear cell renal carcinoma development, including the inflammation pathway. However, less is known about how gene expression variation in this pathway influences clear cell renal carcinoma development and clinical outcomes.
Materials and Methods
Gene expression in tumor and adjacent normal tissues from 93 patients was detected using a genome-wide expression array. A panel of 661 inflammation related genes was then analyzed. Differential expression patterns between tumor and normal tissues were identified. Association with recurrence or survival was evaluated with genes showing significant association tested further in a validation set of 258 tumors using an independent platform (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction).
We identified 151 genes with at least a two-fold change in gene expression between adjacent normal tissue and tumor, of which most were up-regulated in tumors. A total of 20 genes significantly associated with recurrence and/or overall survival were selected for further validation. In the replication data set high expression of GADD45G was significantly associated with a 2.09-fold (95% CI 1.08 – 6.14, p = 0.034) increased risk of recurrence while high CARD9, NCF2 and CIITA expression was significantly associated with a 2.52-fold (95% CI 1.24 –5.12, p = 0.010), 2.26-fold (95% CI 1.12– 4.58, p = 0.023) and 2.11-fold (95% CI 1.05– 4.27, p = 0.037) increased risk of death, respectively.
Results suggest that inflammation gene expression may be significant prognostic biomarkers for the risk of recurrence (GADD45G) and death (CARD9, CIITA and NCF2) in patients with clear cell renal carcinoma.
kidney; carcinoma; renal cell; inflammation; gene expression; neoplasm recurrence; local
Mutagen sensitivity, a measurement of chromatid breaks induced by various mutagens in short-term cultures of peripheral blood lymphocytes, is an established risk factor for a number of cancers and is highly heritable. The purpose of this study is to identify genetic predictors of mutagen sensitivity. Therefore, we conducted a multi-stage genome-wide association study. The primary scan analyzed 539 437 autosomal SNPs in 673 healthy individuals, followed by validations in two independent sets of 575 and 259 healthy individuals, respectively. One SNP, rs8093763, on chromosome 18q21 showed significant association with bleomycin (BLM) sensitivity (combined P = 2.64 × 10−8). We observed significantly lower BLM-induced chromotid breaks for genotypes containing wild-type allele compared with the homozygous variant genotype in the discovery set (0.71 versus 0.90, P= 3.77 × 10−5) and in replication phase 1 (0.61 versus 0.84, P= 7.00 × 10−5). The result of replication phase 2 was not statistically significant (0.65 versus 0.68, P= 0.44). This SNP is approximately 64 kb from PMAIP1/Noxa, which is a radiation-inducible gene and exhibits higher expression in BLM-sensitive lymphoblastoid cell lines than insensitive cell lines upon BLM treatment. In conclusion, we identified a biologically plausible genetic variant on 18q21 near the PMAIP1/Noxa gene that is associated with BLM sensitivity.
Two cytidine analogues, gemcitabine (dFdC) and cytosine arabinoside (AraC), show significant therapeutic effect in a variety of cancers. However, response to these drugs varies widely. Evidence from tumor biopsy samples shows that expression levels for genes involved in the cytidine transport, metabolism and bioactivation pathway contribute to this variation in response. In the present study, we set out to test the hypothesis that variation in gene expression both within and outside of this “pathway” might influence sensitivity to gemcitabine and AraC. Specifically, Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip and cytotoxicity assays were performed to obtain basal mRNA expression and IC50 values for both drugs in 197 ethnically-defined Human Variation Panel lymphoblastoid cell lines. Genes with a high degree of association with IC50 values were involved mainly in cell death, cancer, cell cycle, and nucleic acid metabolism pathways. We validated selected significant genes by performing real time quantitative RT-PCR and selected two representative candidates, NT5C3 (within the pathway) and FKBP5 (outside of the pathway), for functional validation. Those studies demonstrated that down regulation of NT5C3 and FKBP5 altered tumor cell sensitivity to both drugs. Our results suggest that cell-based model system studies, when combined with complementary functional characterization, may help to identify biomarkers for response to chemotherapy with these cytidine analogues.
cytidine analogues; gemcitabine; dFdC; cytosine arabinoside; AraC; lymphoblastoid cell lines; expression array; 5′-nucleotidase; cytosolic III nucleotidase; NT5C3; FK506 binding protein 5; FKBP5 and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis
Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT)-catalyzed methylation of catecholestrogens has been proposed to play a protective role in estrogen-induced genotoxic carcinogenesis. We have taken a comprehensive approach to test the hypothesis that genetic variation in COMT might influence breast cancer risk. Fifteen COMT SNPs selected on the basis of in-depth resequencing of the COMT gene were genotyped in 1482 DNA samples from a Mayo Clinic breast cancer case-control study. Two common SNPs in the distal promoter for membrane-bound (MB) COMT, rs2020917 and rs737865, were associated with breast cancer risk reduction in premenopausal women in the Mayo Clinic study, with allele-specific odds ratios of 0.70 (95% CI = 0.52–0.95) and 0.68 (95% CI = 0.51–0.92), respectively. These two SNPs were then subjected to functional genomic analysis and were genotyped in an additional 3683 DNA samples from two independent case-control studies (GENICA and GESBC). Functional genomic experiments showed that these SNPs could up-regulate transcription and that they altered DNA-protein binding patterns. Furthermore, substrate kinetic and exon array analyses suggested a role for MB-COMT in catecholestrogen inactivation. The GENICA results were similar to the Mayo case-control observations, with ORs of 0.85 (95% CI = 0.72–1.00) and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.72–1.01) for the two SNPs. No significant effect was observed in the GESBC study. These studies demonstrated that two SNPs in the COMT distal promoter were associated with breast cancer risk reduction in 2 of 3 case-control studies, compatible with the results of functional genomic experiments, suggesting a role for MB-COMT in breast cancer risk.
Catechol O-methyltransferase; COMT; MB-COMT; S-COMT; breast cancer risk; genetic polymorphism; SNPs; functional genomics
Glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) is of importance for cancer research because of its role in detoxifying carcinogens, activating antineoplastic prodrugs, metabolizing chemotherapeutic agents, and because of its involvement in cell cycle and apoptosis regulation. Two common GSTP1 genetic polymorphisms have been studied extensively. However, the full range of GSTP1 genetic variation has not been systematically characterized in the absence of disease pathology. We set out to identify common GSTP1 polymorphisms in four ethnic groups, followed by functional genomic studies. All exons, splice junctions, and the 5′-flanking region of GSTP1 were resequenced using 60 DNA samples each from four ethnic groups. The 35 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified included six nonsynonymous SNPs and 17 previously unreported polymorphisms. GSTP1 variant allozymes were then expressed in COS-1 cells, and five displayed significantly altered levels of enzyme activity, one to 22% of the wild type (WT) activity. Four variant allozymes had Km values that differed significantly from that of the WT, and five showed altered levels of immunoreactive protein as compared to WT, with a significant correlation (r=0.79, p<0.007) between levels of immunoreactive protein and enzyme activity in these samples. In the Mexican-American population, five linked SNPs were significantly associated with GSTP1 mRNA expression, one of which was found by EMSA to alter protein binding. These studies have identified functionally significant genetic variation, in addition to the two frequently studied GSTP1 nonsynonymous SNPs, that may influence GSTP1′s contribution to carcinogen and drug metabolism, and – possibly – disease pathogenesis and/or drug response.
Glutathione S-transferases; glutathione transferase; GST; GSTP1; gene resequencing; functional genomics; genetic polymorphisms; SNPs; variant allozymes; expression regulation
We propose a histopathological classification system for hippocampal cell loss in patients suffering from mesial temporal lobe epilepsies (MTLE). One hundred and seventy-eight surgically resected specimens were microscopically examined with respect to neuronal cell loss in hippocampal subfields CA1–CA4 and dentate gyrus. Five distinct patterns were recognized within a consecutive cohort of anatomically well-preserved surgical specimens. The first group comprised hippocampi with neuronal cell densities not significantly different from age matched autopsy controls [no mesial temporal sclerosis (no MTS); n = 34, 19%]. A classical pattern with severe cell loss in CA1 and moderate neuronal loss in all other subfields excluding CA2 was observed in 33 cases (19%), whereas the vast majority of cases showed extensive neuronal cell loss in all hippocampal subfields (n = 94, 53%). Due to considerable similarities of neuronal cell loss patterns and clinical histories, we designated these two groups as MTS type 1a and 1b, respectively. We further distinguished two atypical variants characterized either by severe neuronal loss restricted to sector CA1 (MTS type 2; n = 10, 6%) or to the hilar region (MTS type 3, n = 7, 4%). Correlation with clinical data pointed to an early age of initial precipitating injury (IPI < 3 years) as important predictor of hippocampal pathology, i.e. MTS type 1a and 1b. In MTS type 2, IPIs were documented at a later age (mean 6 years), whereas in MTS type 3 and normal appearing hippocampus (no MTS) the first event appeared beyond the age of 13 and 16 years, respectively. In addition, postsurgical outcome was significantly worse in atypical MTS, especially MTS type 3 with only 28% of patients having seizure relief after 1-year follow-up period, compared to successful seizure control in MTS types 1a and 1b (72 and 73%). Our classification system appears suitable for stratifying the clinically heterogeneous group of MTLE patients also with respect to postsurgical outcome studies.