Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women in worldwide including Japan. Several studies have identified common genetic variants to be associated with the risk of breast cancer. Due to the complex linkage disequilibrium structure and various environmental exposures in different populations, it is essential to identify variants associated with breast cancer in each population, which subsequently facilitate the better understanding of mammary carcinogenesis. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) as well as whole-genome imputation with 2,642 cases and 2,099 unaffected female controls. We further examined 13 suggestive loci (P<1.0×10−5) using an independent sample set of 2,885 cases and 3,395 controls and successfully validated two previously-reported loci, rs2981578 (combined P-value of 1.31×10−12, OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.16–.30) on chromosome 10q26 (FGFR2), rs3803662 (combined P-value of 2.79×10−11, OR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.15–.28) and rs12922061 (combined P-value of 3.97×10−10, OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.15–.31) on chromosome 16q12 (TOX3-LOC643714). Weighted genetic risk score on the basis of three significantly associated variants and two previously reported breast cancer associated loci in East Asian population revealed that individuals who carry the most risk alleles in category 5 have 2.2 times higher risk of developing breast cancer in the Japanese population than those who carry the least risk alleles in reference category 1. Although we could not identify additional loci associated with breast cancer, our study utilized one of the largest sample sizes reported to date, and provided genetic status that represent the Japanese population. Further local and international collaborative study is essential to identify additional genetic variants that could lead to a better, accurate prediction for breast cancer.
Calcium is vital to the normal functioning of multiple organ systems and its serum concentration is tightly regulated. Apart from CASR, the genes associated with serum calcium are largely unknown. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 39,400 individuals from 17 population-based cohorts and investigated the 14 most strongly associated loci in ≤21,679 additional individuals. Seven loci (six new regions) in association with serum calcium were identified and replicated. Rs1570669 near CYP24A1 (P = 9.1E-12), rs10491003 upstream of GATA3 (P = 4.8E-09) and rs7481584 in CARS (P = 1.2E-10) implicate regions involved in Mendelian calcemic disorders: Rs1550532 in DGKD (P = 8.2E-11), also associated with bone density, and rs7336933 near DGKH/KIAA0564 (P = 9.1E-10) are near genes that encode distinct isoforms of diacylglycerol kinase. Rs780094 is in GCKR. We characterized the expression of these genes in gut, kidney, and bone, and demonstrate modulation of gene expression in bone in response to dietary calcium in mice. Our results shed new light on the genetics of calcium homeostasis.
Calcium is vital to many biological processes and its serum concentration is tightly regulated. Family studies have shown that serum calcium is under strong genetic control. Apart from CASR, the genes associated with serum calcium are largely unknown. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 39,400 individuals from 17 population-based cohorts and investigated the 14 most strongly associated loci in ≤21,679 additional individuals. We identified seven loci (six new regions) as being robustly associated with serum calcium. Three loci implicate regions involved in rare monogenic diseases including disturbances of serum calcium levels. Several of the newly identified loci harbor genes linked to the hormonal control of serum calcium. In mice experiments, we characterized the expression of these genes in gut, kidney, and bone, and explored the influence of dietary calcium intake on the expression of these genes in these organs. Our results shed new light on the genetics of calcium homeostasis and suggest a role for dietary calcium intake in bone-specific gene expression.
Sensory peripheral neuropathy is a common and sometimes debilitating toxicity associated with paclitaxel therapy. This study aims to identify genetic risk factors for development of this toxicity.
A prospective pharmacogenetic analysis of primary breast cancer patients randomized to the paclitaxel arm of CALGB 40101 was used to identify genetic predictors of the onset and severity of sensory peripheral neuropathy. A genome-wide association study in 855 subjects of European ancestry was performed and findings were replicated in additional European (n = 154) and African American (n = 117) subjects.
A single nucleotide polymorphism in FGD4 was associated with the onset of sensory peripheral neuropathy in the discovery cohort (rs10771973; HR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.30–1.91; P = 2.6 × 10−6) and in a European (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.06–2.80; P = 0.013) and African American (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.13-3.28; P = 6.7 × 10−3) replication cohort. There is also evidence that markers in additional genes, including EPHA5 (rs7349683) and FZD3 (rs10771973), were associated with the onset or severity of paclitaxel-induced sensory peripheral neuropathy.
A genome-wide association study has identified novel genetic markers of paclitaxel-induced sensory peripheral neuropathy, including a common polymorphism in FGD4, a congenital peripheral neuropathy gene. These findings suggest that genetic variation may contribute to variation in development of this toxicity. Validation of these findings may allow for the identification of patients at increased risk of peripheral neuropathy and inform the use of an alternative to paclitaxel and/or the clinical management of this toxicity.
paclitaxel; peripheral neuropathy; breast cancer; pharmacogenetics; genome-wide association study
The response to treatment for asthma is characterized by wide interindividual variability, with a significant number of patients who have no response. We hypothesized that a genomewide association study would reveal novel pharmacogenetic determinants of the response to inhaled glucocorticoids.
We analyzed a small number of statistically powerful variants selected on the basis of a family-based screening algorithm from among 534,290 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to determine changes in lung function in response to inhaled glucocorticoids. A significant, replicated association was found, and we characterized its functional effects.
We identified a significant pharmacogenetic association at SNP rs37972, replicated in four independent populations totaling 935 persons (P = 0.0007), which maps to the glucocorticoid-induced transcript 1 gene (GLCCI1) and is in complete linkage disequilibrium (i.e., perfectly correlated) with rs37973. Both rs37972 and rs37973 are associated with decrements in GLCCI1 expression. In isolated cell systems, the rs37973 variant is associated with significantly decreased luciferase reporter activity. Pooled data from treatment trials indicate reduced lung function in response to inhaled glucocorticoids in subjects with the variant allele (P = 0.0007 for pooled data). Overall, the mean (± SE) increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 second in the treated subjects who were homozygous for the mutant rs37973 allele was only about one third of that seen in similarly treated subjects who were homozygous for the wild-type allele (3.2 ± 1.6% vs. 9.4 ± 1.1%), and their risk of a poor response was significantly higher (odds ratio, 2.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.27 to 4.41), with genotype accounting for about 6.6% of overall inhaled glucocorticoid response variability.
A functional GLCCI1 variant is associated with substantial decrements in the response to inhaled glucocorticoids in patients with asthma. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00000575.)
Peptic ulcer is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders with complex etiology. Recently we conducted the genome wide association study for duodenal ulcer and identified disease susceptibility variations at two genetic loci corresponding to the Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) gene and the ABO blood group (ABO) gene. Here we investigated the association of these variations with gastric ulcer in two Japanese case-control sample sets, a total of 4,291 gastric ulcer cases and 22,665 controls. As a result, a C-allele of rs2294008 at PSCA increased the risk of gastric ulcer with odds ratio (OR) of 1.13 (P value of 5.85×10−7) in an additive model. On the other hand, SNP rs505922 on ABO exhibited inconsistent result between two cohorts. Our finding implies presence of the common genetic variant in the pathogenesis of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Age at menarche (AAM) is a complex trait involving both genetic and environmental factors. To identify the genetic factors associated with AAM, we conducted a large-scale meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies using more than 15,000 Japanese female samples. Here, we identified an association between SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) rs364663 at the LIN28B locus and AAM, with a P-value of 5.49×10−7 and an effect size of 0.089 (year). We also evaluated 33 SNPs that were previously reported to be associated with AAM in women of European ancestry. Among them, two SNPs rs4452860 and rs7028916 in TMEM38B indicated significant association with AAM in the same directions as reported in previous studies (P = 0.0013 with an effect size of 0.051) even after Bonferroni correction for the 33 SNPs. In addition, six loci in or near CCDC85A, LOC100421670, CA10, ZNF483, ARNTL, and RXRG exhibited suggestive association with AAM (P<0.05). Our findings elucidated the impact of genetic variations on AAM in the Japanese population.
There have been few genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of prostate cancer among diverse populations. To search for novel prostate cancer risk variants, we conducted GWAS of prostate cancer in Japanese and Latinos. In addition, we tested prostate cancer risk variants and developed genetic risk models of prostate cancer for Japanese and Latinos.
Our first stage GWAS of prostate cancer included Japanese (cases/controls=1,033/1,042) and Latino (cases/controls=1,043/1,057) from the Multiethnic Cohort. Significant associations from stage 1 (P < 1.0×10−4) were examined in silico in GWAS of prostate cancer (stage 2) in Japanese (cases/controls=1,583/3,386) and Europeans (cases/controls=1,854/1,894).
No novel stage 1 SNPs outside of known risk regions reached genome-wide significance. For Japanese, in stage 1, the most notable putative novel association was seen with 10 SNPs (P<8.0. x10−6) at chromosome 2q33; however, this was not replicated in stage 2. For Latinos, the most significant association was observed with rs17023900 at the known 3p12 risk locus (stage 1: OR=1.45; P=7.01×10−5 and stage 2: OR=1.58; P =3.05×10−7). The majority of the established risk variants for prostate cancer, 79% and 88%, were positively associated with prostate cancer in Japanese and Latinos (stage I), respectively. The cumulative effects of these variants significantly influence prostate cancer risk (OR per allele=1.10; P = 2.71×10−25 and OR=1.07; P = 1.02×10−16 for Japanese and Latinos, respectively).
Conclusion and Impact
Our GWAS of prostate cancer did not identify novel genome-wide significant variants. However, our findings demonstrate that established risk variants for prostate cancer significantly contribute to risk among Japanese and Latinos.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Japan. We previously identified the association of SNP rs2596542 in the 5' flanking region of the MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (MICA) gene with the risk of HCV-induced HCC. In the current study, we performed detailed functional analysis of 12 candidate SNPs in the promoter region and found that a SNP rs2596538 located at 2.8 kb upstream of the MICA gene affected the binding of a nuclear protein(s) to the genomic segment including this SNP. By electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay, we identified that transcription factor Specificity Protein 1 (SP1) can bind to the protective G allele, but not to the risk A allele. In addition, reporter construct containing the G allele was found to exhibit higher transcriptional activity than that containing the A allele. Moreover, SNP rs2596538 showed stronger association with HCV-induced HCC (P = 1.82×10−5 and OR = 1.34) than the previously identified SNP rs2596542. We also found significantly higher serum level of soluble MICA (sMICA) in HCV-induced HCC patients carrying the G allele than those carrying the A allele (P = 0.00616). In summary, we have identified a functional SNP that is associated with the expression of MICA and the risk for HCV-induced HCC.
We set out to test the hypothesis that pharmacometabolomic data could be efficiently merged with pharmacogenomic data by SNP imputation of metabolomic-derived pathway data on a “scaffolding” of genome-wide association (GWA) SNP data to broaden and accelerate “pharmacometabolomics-informed pharmacogenomic” studies by eliminating the need for initial genotyping and by making broader SNP association testing possible.
We previously genotyped 131 tag SNPs for six genes encoding enzymes in the glycine synthesis and degradation pathway using DNA from 529 depressed patients treated with citalopram/escitalopram to pursue a glycine metabolomics “signal” associated with selective serotonine reuptake inhibitor response. We identified a significant SNP in the glycine dehydrogenase gene. Subsequently, GWAS SNP data were generated for the same patients. In this study, we compared SNP imputation within 200 kb of these same six genes with results of the previous tag SNP strategy as a rapid strategy for merging pharmacometabolomic and pharmacogenomic data.
Imputed genotype data provided greater coverage and higher resolution than did tag SNP genotyping, with a higher average genotype concordance between genotyped and imputed SNP data for “1000 Genomes” (96.4%) than HapMap 2 (93.2%) imputation. Many low p-value SNPs with novel locations within genes were observed for imputed compared with tag SNPs, thus altering the focus for subsequent functional genomic studies.
These results indicate that the use of GWAS data to impute SNPs for genes in pathways identified by other “omics” approaches makes it possible to rapidly and economically identify SNP markers to “broaden” and accelerate pharmacogenomic studies.
Pharmacometabolomics; pharmacogenomics; imputation; tag SNPs; 1000 Genomes; HapMap; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; SSRIs; major depressive disorder; MDD
Vibrio anguillarum is a fish pathogen that causes vibriosis, a serious hemorrhagic septicemia, in wild and cultured fish. Many serotype O1 strains of this bacterium harbor the 65kb plasmid pJM1 carrying the majority of genes encoding the siderophore anguibactin iron transport system that is one of the most important virulence factors of this bacterium. We previously identified a replication region of the pJM1 plasmid named ori1. In this work we determined that ori1 can replicate in E. coli and that the chromosome-encoded proteins DnaB, DnaC and DnaG are essential for its replication whereas PolI, IHF and DnaA are not required. The copy number of the pJM1 plasmid is 1–2, albeit cloned smaller fragments of the ori1 region replicate with higher copy numbers in V. anguillarum while in E. coli we did not observe an obvious difference of the copy numbers of these constructs which were all high. Furthermore, we were able to delete the ori1 region from the pJM1 plasmid and identified a second replication region in pJM1 that we named ori2. This second replication region is located on ORF25 that is within the trans-acting factor (TAFr) region, and showed that it can only replicate in V. anguillarum.
Vibrio anguillarum; Iron transport; Replication origin; trans-acting factor
Danforth's short tail (Sd) is a semidominant mutation on mouse chromosome 2, characterized by spinal defects, urogenital defects, and anorectal malformations. However, the gene responsible for the Sd phenotype was unknown. In this study, we identified the molecular basis of the Sd mutation. By positional cloning, we identified the insertion of an early transposon in the Sd candidate locus approximately 12-kb upstream of Ptf1a. We found that insertion of the transposon caused overexpression of three neighboring genes, Gm13344, Gm13336, and Ptf1a, in Sd mutant embryos and that the Sd phenotype was not caused by disruption of an as-yet-unknown gene in the candidate locus. Using multiple knockout and knock-in mouse models, we demonstrated that misexpression of Ptf1a, but not of Gm13344 or Gm13336, in the notochord, hindgut, cloaca, and mesonephros was sufficient to replicate the Sd phenotype. The ectopic expression of Ptf1a in the caudal embryo resulted in attenuated expression of Cdx2 and its downstream target genes T, Wnt3a, and Cyp26a1; we conclude that this is the molecular basis of the Sd phenotype. Analysis of Sd mutant mice will provide insight into the development of the spinal column, anus, and kidney.
Caudal regression syndrome (CRS) is a congenital heterogeneous constellation of caudal anomalies that includes varying degrees of agenesis of the spinal column, anorectal malformations, and genitourinary anomalies. Its pathogenesis is unclear. However, it could be the result of excessive physiologic regression of the embryonic caudal region based on analyses of the various mouse mutants carrying caudal agenesis. Among the mouse mutants, the Danforth's short tail (Sd) mouse is considered a best model for human CRS. Sd is a semidominant mutation, characterized by spinal defects, urogenital defects, and anorectal malformations, thus showing phenotypic similarity to human CRS. Although Sd is known to map to mouse chromosome 2, little is known about the molecular nature of the mutation. Here, we demonstrate an insertion of one type of retrotransposon near the Ptf1a gene. This resulted in ectopic expression of Ptf1a gene in the caudal region of the embryo and downregulation of Cdx2 and its downstream targets, leading to characteristic phenotypes in Sd mouse. Thus, Sd mutant mice will provide insight into the development of the spinal column, anus, and kidney.
Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). The genetics of asthma have been widely studied in mouse and human, and homologous genomic regions have been associated with mouse AHR and human asthma-related phenotypes. Our goal was to identify asthma-related genes by integrating AHR associations in mouse with human genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. We used Efficient Mixed Model Association (EMMA) analysis to conduct a GWAS of baseline AHR measures from males and females of 31 mouse strains. Genes near or containing SNPs with EMMA p-values <0.001 were selected for further study in human GWAS. The results of the previously reported EVE consortium asthma GWAS meta-analysis consisting of 12,958 diverse North American subjects from 9 study centers were used to select a subset of homologous genes with evidence of association with asthma in humans. Following validation attempts in three human asthma GWAS (i.e., Sepracor/LOCCS/LODO/Illumina, GABRIEL, DAG) and two human AHR GWAS (i.e., SHARP, DAG), the Kv channel interacting protein 4 (KCNIP4) gene was identified as nominally associated with both asthma and AHR at a gene- and SNP-level. In EVE, the smallest KCNIP4 association was at rs6833065 (P-value 2.9e-04), while the strongest associations for Sepracor/LOCCS/LODO/Illumina, GABRIEL, DAG were 1.5e-03, 1.0e-03, 3.1e-03 at rs7664617, rs4697177, rs4696975, respectively. At a SNP level, the strongest association across all asthma GWAS was at rs4697177 (P-value 1.1e-04). The smallest P-values for association with AHR were 2.3e-03 at rs11947661 in SHARP and 2.1e-03 at rs402802 in DAG. Functional studies are required to validate the potential involvement of KCNIP4 in modulating asthma susceptibility and/or AHR. Our results suggest that a useful approach to identify genes associated with human asthma is to leverage mouse AHR association data.
Background and Aims
CALGB 80303 was a randomized, phase III study in advanced pancreatic cancer patients treated with gemcitabine plus either bevacizumab or placebo. We prospectively collected germline DNA and conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using overall survival (OS) as the endpoint.
DNA from 351 patients was genotyped for >550,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Associations between OS and SNPs were investigated using the log-linear two-way multiplicative Cox proportional-hazards model. The subset of 294 genetically European patients was used for the primary analysis.
A nonsynonymous SNP in IL17F (rs763780, H161R) and an intronic SNP in strong linkage disequilibrium (rs7771466) were associated with OS using genome-wide criteria (p≤10−7). Median OS was significantly shorter (p 2.61×10−8) for the rs763780 heterozygotes (3.1 months, 95% CI 2.3–4.3) as compared to the patients without this variant (6.8 months, 5.8–7.3). After adjustment by stratification factors, the p value for the association was 9.51×10−7.
The variant 161R form of interleukin-17F is a natural antagonist of the anti-angiogenic effects of wild-type 161H interleukin-17F, and angiogenesis may play an important role in the metastatic spread of pancreatic cancer. In this preliminary study, we hypothesize that the angiogenesis potential of pancreatic cancers in patients with variant interleukin-17F is higher than that of tumors in patients with wild-type interleukin-17F, conferring worse prognosis. This exploratory GWAS may provide the foundation for testing the biology and clinical effects of novel genes and their heritable variants through mechanistic and confirmatory studies in pancreatic cancer.
GWAS; pharmacogenetics; bevacizumab; pancreatic cancer; gemcitabine
We previously identified actin filament-associated protein 1-like 1 (AFAP1L1) as a metastasis-predicting marker from the gene-expression profiles of 65 spindle cell sarcomas, and demonstrated the up-regulation of AFAP1L1 expression to be an independent risk factor for distant metastasis in multivariate analyses. Little is known, however, about how the expression of AFAP1L1 is regulated. Luciferase reporter assays showed tandem binding motives of a specificity protein (Sp) located at −85 to −75 relative to the transcriptional start site to be essential to the promoter activity. Overexpression of Sp1 and Sp3 proteins transactivated the proximal AFAP1L1 promoter construct, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that both Sp1 and Sp3 were able to bind to this region in vitro. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, however, revealed that Sp3 is the major factor binding to the proximal promoter region of the AFAP1L1 gene in AFAP1L1- positive cells. Treatment with mithramycin A, an inhibitor of proteins binding to GC-rich regions, prevented Sp3 from binding to the proximal promoter region of AFAP1L1 and decreased its expression in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, knocking down Sp3 using small inhibitory RNA duplex (siRNA) reduced AFAP1L1 expression significantly, which was partially restored by expressing siRNA-resistant Sp3. These findings indicate a novel role for Sp3 in sarcomas as a driver for expression of the metastasis-related gene AFAP1L1.
We conducted a genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analysis of 4,604 endometriosis cases and 9,393 controls of Japanese1 and European2 ancestry. We show that rs12700667 on chromosome 7p15.2, previously found in Europeans, replicates in Japanese (P = 3.6 × 10−3), and confirm association of rs7521902 on 1p36.12 near WNT4. In addition, we establish association of rs13394619 in GREB1 on 2p25.1 and identify a novel locus on 12q22 near VEZT (rs10859871). Excluding European cases with minimal or unknown severity, we identified additional novel loci on 2p14 (rs4141819), 6p22.3 (rs7739264) and 9p21.3 (rs1537377). All seven SNP effects were replicated in an independent cohort and produced P < 5 × 10−8 in a combined analysis. Finally, we found a significant overlap in polygenic risk for endometriosis between the European and Japanese GWA cohorts (P = 8.8 × 10−11), indicating that many weakly associated SNPs represent true endometriosis risk loci and risk prediction and future targeted disease therapy may be transferred across these populations.
We previously reported MELK (maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase) as a novel therapeutic target for breast cancer. MELK was also reported to be highly upregulated in multiple types of human cancer. It was implied to play indispensable roles in cancer cell survival and indicated its involvement in the maintenance of tumor-initiating cells. We conducted a high-throughput screening of a compound library followed by structure-activity relationship studies, and successfully obtained a highly potent MELK inhibitor OTSSP167 with IC50 of 0.41 nM. OTSSP167 inhibited the phosphorylation of PSMA1 (proteasome subunit alpha type 1) and DBNL (drebrin-like), which we identified as novel MELK substrates and are important for stem-cell characteristics and invasiveness. The compound suppressed mammosphere formation of breast cancer cells and exhibited significant tumor growth suppression in xenograft studies using breast, lung, prostate, and pancreas cancer cell lines in mice by both intravenous and oral administration. This MELK inhibitor should be a promising compound possibly to suppress the growth of tumor-initiating cells and be applied for treatment of a wide range of human cancer.
oncogene; drug discovery; kinase inhibitor; cancer stem cell
Controversy exists regarding the association between CYP2D6 enzyme activity and tamoxifen effectiveness in the adjuvant treatment of invasive breast cancer; however this association in the primary prevention of breast cancer is unknown.
We performed a nested case-control study in the context of the NSABP P-1 and P-2 prevention trials to determine the impact of CYP2D6 genotype, CYP2D6 inhibitor use, as well as metabolizer status (CYP2D6 genotype combined with CYP2D6 inhibitor use), on breast cancer events. Women who developed breast cancer (both non-invasive and invasive) while on five years of SERM therapy (cases) were matched to controls free of breast cancer. Comprehensive CYP2D6 genotyping was performed for alleles associated with absent (*3, *4, *5, *6), reduced (*10, *17, *41), and increased (*1XN and *2XN) enzyme activity. Information regarding the use of CYP2D6 inhibitors was recorded.
591 cases were matched to 1126 controls and DNA was genotyped in >97%. In patients treated with tamoxifen, there was no association of CYP2D6 genotype [OR(extensive/poor metabolizer): 0.90; 95% CI 0.46-1.74, p=0.74), use of a potent CYP2D6 inhibitor (OR 0.92; 95% CI 0.575-1.486), or CYP2D6 metabolizer status (OR 1.03; 95% CI 0.669-1.607) with breast cancer occurrence. Likewise, there was no association between any CYP2D6 metabolism parameter with breast cancer events in raloxifene treated patients.
In the NSABP P1 and P2 clinical trials, alterations in CYP2D6 metabolism are not associated with either tamoxifen or raloxifene efficacy.
tamoxifen; breast cancer; prevention; CYP2D6; polymorphism
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is widely used as a diagnostic biomarker for prostate cancer (PC). However, due to its low predictive performance, many patients without PC suffer from the harms of unnecessary prostate needle biopsies. The present study aims to evaluate the reproducibility and performance of a genetic risk prediction model in Japanese and estimate its utility as a diagnostic biomarker in a clinical scenario. We created a logistic regression model incorporating 16 SNPs that were significantly associated with PC in a genome-wide association study of Japanese population using 689 cases and 749 male controls. The model was validated by two independent sets of Japanese samples comprising 3,294 cases and 6,281 male controls. The areas under curve (AUC) of the model were 0.679, 0.655, and 0.661 for the samples used to create the model and those used for validation. The AUCs were not significantly altered in samples with PSA 1–10 ng/ml. 24.2% and 9.7% of the patients had odds ratio <0.5 (low risk) or >2 (high risk) in the model. Assuming the overall positive rate of prostate needle biopsies to be 20%, the positive biopsy rates were 10.7% and 42.4% for the low and high genetic risk groups respectively. Our genetic risk prediction model for PC was highly reproducible, and its predictive performance was not influenced by PSA. The model could have a potential to affect clinical decision when it is applied to patients with gray-zone PSA, which should be confirmed in future clinical studies.
Smoking is a major public health problem, but the genetic factors associated with smoking behaviors are not fully elucidated. Here, we have conducted an integrated genome-wide association study to identify common copy number polymorphisms (CNPs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in Japanese smokers ( = 17,158). Our analysis identified a common CNP with a strong effect on CPD (rs8102683; ) in the 19q13 region, encompassing the CYP2A6 locus. After adjustment for the associated CNP, we found an additional associated SNP (rs11878604; ) located 30 kb downstream of the CYP2A6 gene. Imputation of the CYP2A6 locus revealed that haplotypes underlying the CNP and the SNP corresponded to classical, functional alleles of CYP2A6 gene that regulate nicotine metabolism and explained 2% of the phenotypic variance of CPD (ANOVA -test ). These haplotypes were also associated with smoking-related diseases, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and arteriosclerosis obliterans.
MHC class I polypeptide-related chain A (MICA) molecule is induced in response to viral infection and various types of stress. We recently reported that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2596542 located in the MICA promoter region was significantly associated with the risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and also with serum levels of soluble MICA (sMICA). In this study, we focused on the possible involvement of MICA in liver carcinogenesis related to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and examined correlation between the MICA polymorphism and the serum sMICA levels in HBV-induced HCC patients. The genetic association analysis revealed a nominal association with an SNP rs2596542; a G allele was considered to increase the risk of HBV-induced HCC (P = 0.029 with odds ratio of 1.19). We also found a significant elevation of sMICA in HBV-induced HCC cases. Moreover, a G allele of SNP rs2596542 was significantly associated with increased sMICA levels (P = 0.009). Interestingly, HCC patients with the high serum level of sMICA (>5 pg/ml) exhibited poorer prognosis than those with the low serum level of sMICA (≤5 pg/ml) (P = 0.008). Thus, our results highlight the importance of MICA genetic variations and the significance of sMICA as a predictive biomarker for HBV-induced HCC.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with a complex etiology, leading to inflammation of synovial tissue and joint destruction. Through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and two replication studies in the Japanese population (7,907 cases and 35,362 controls), we identified two gene loci associated with rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility (NFKBIE at 6p21.1, rs2233434, odds ratio (OR) = 1.20, P = 1.3×10−15; RTKN2 at 10q21.2, rs3125734, OR = 1.20, P = 4.6×10−9). In addition to two functional non-synonymous SNPs in NFKBIE, we identified candidate causal SNPs with regulatory potential in NFKBIE and RTKN2 gene regions by integrating in silico analysis using public genome databases and subsequent in vitro analysis. Both of these genes are known to regulate the NF-κB pathway, and the risk alleles of the genes were implicated in the enhancement of NF-κB activity in our analyses. These results suggest that the NF-κB pathway plays a role in pathogenesis and would be a rational target for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting approximately 1% of the general adult population. More than 30 susceptibility loci for RA have been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but the disease-causal variants at most loci remain unknown. Here, we performed replication studies of the candidate loci of our previous GWAS using Japanese cohorts and identified variants in NFKBIE and RTKN2 gene loci that were associated with RA. To search for causal variants in both gene regions, we first examined non-synonymous (ns)SNPs that alter amino-acid sequences. As NFKBIE and RTKN2 are known to be involved in the NF-κB pathway, we evaluated the effects of nsSNPs on NF-κB activity. Next, we screened in silico variants that may regulate gene transcription using publicly available epigenetic databases and subsequently evaluated their regulatory potential using in vitro assays. As a result, we identified multiple candidate causal variants in NFKBIE (2 nsSNPs and 1 regulatory SNP) and RTKN2 (2 regulatory SNPs), indicating that our integrated in silico and in vitro approach is useful for the identification of causal variants in the post–GWAS era.
Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide and patients occasionally develop local recurrence or distant metastasis soon after curative resection. Reports of new therapeutic strategies for lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) are extremely rare, while selective anticancer therapy has been reported for lung adenocarcinoma. The aim of this study was to identify clinicopathological prognostic factors for SqCC. We analyzed tumor budding and infiltrative patterns (INF) in 103 cases of surgically-resected SqCC. Tumor infiltrative patterns were classified into three groups (INFa, b and c) and INFc was infiltrative growth at the tumor invasive front. The cases with an INFc component [INFc(+)]were significantly associated with venous invasion (P=0.014) and the scirrhous stromal type (P<0.001). The overall survival rate of patients with INFc(+) was significantly lower than that of patients without the INFc component [INFc(−); P=0.003]. Tumor budding was defined as a single cancer cell or a small nest of up to four cancer cells within stromal tissue. The cases with tumor budding [Bud(+)] were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis (P=0.001), lymphatic invasion (P=0.002), INFc(+) (P<0.001) and the scirrhous stromal type (P=0.014). Patients with the Bud(+) type had a lower overall survival rate than patients with the Bud(−) type (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that tumor budding [hazard ratio (HR), 2.766; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.497–5.109] and lymph node metastasis (HR, 1.937; 95% CI, 1.097–3.419) were independent predictors of mortality. In conclusion, tumor budding is a significant indicator of a high malignant potential and poor prognosis in SqCC of the lung.
lung cancer; squamous cell carcinoma; patient prognosis; tumor budding
Since a phase I clinical trial using three HLA-A24-binding peptides from TTK protein kinase (TTK), lymphocyte antigen-6 complex locus K (LY6K), and insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA binding protein-3 (IMP3) had been shown to be promising for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), we further performed a multicenter, non-randomized phase II clinical trial.
Patients and methods
Sixty ESCC patients were enrolled to evaluate OS, PFS, immunological response employing ELISPOT and pentamer assays. Each of the three peptides was administered with IFA weekly. All patients received the vaccination without knowing an HLA-A type, and the HLA types were key-opened at the analysis point. Hence, the endpoints were set to evaluate differences between HLA-A*2402-positive (24(+)) and -negative (24(−)) groups.
The OS in the 24 (+) group (n = 35) tended to be better than that in the 24(−) group (n = 25) (MST 4.6 vs. 2.6 month, respectively, p = 0.121), although the difference was not statistically significant. However, the PFS in the 24(+) group was significantly better than that in the 24(−) group (p = 0.032). In the 24(+) group, ELISPOT assay indicated that the LY6K-, TTK-, and IMP3-specific CTL responses were observed after the vaccination in 63%, 45%, and 60% of the 24(+) group, respectively. The patients having LY6K-, TTK-, and IMP3-specific CTL responses revealed the better OS than those not having CTL induction, respectively. The patients showing the CTL induction for multiple peptides have better clinical responses.
The immune response induced by the vaccination could make the prognosis better for advanced ESCC patients.
ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00995358
Cancer vaccine; Esophageal cancer; Phase II clinical trial; CTL; Peptide vaccine
Bronchodilator response (BDR) is an important asthma phenotype that measures reversibility of airway obstruction by comparing lung function (i.e. FEV1) before and after the administration of a short-acting β2-agonist, the most common rescue medications used for the treatment of asthma. BDR also serves as a test of β2-agonist efficacy. BDR is a complex trait that is partly under genetic control. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BDR, quantified as percent change in baseline FEV1 after administration of a β2-agonist, was performed with 1,644 non-Hispanic white asthmatic subjects from six drug clinical trials: CAMP, LOCCS, LODO, a medication trial conducted by Sepracor, CARE, and ACRN. Data for 469,884 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to measure the association of SNPs with BDR using a linear regression model, while adjusting for age, sex, and height. Replication of primary P-values was attempted in 501 white subjects from SARP and 550 white subjects from DAG. Experimental evidence supporting the top gene was obtained via siRNA knockdown and Western blotting analyses. The lowest overall combined P-value was 9.7E-07 for SNP rs295137, near the SPATS2L gene. Among subjects in the primary analysis, those with rs295137 TT genotype had a median BDR of 16.0 (IQR = [6.2, 32.4]), while those with CC or TC genotypes had a median BDR of 10.9 (IQR = [5.0, 22.2]). SPATS2L mRNA knockdown resulted in increased β2-adrenergic receptor levels. Our results suggest that SPATS2L may be an important regulator of β2-adrenergic receptor down-regulation and that there is promise in gaining a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of differential response to β2-agonists through GWAS.
Bronchodilator response (BDR) is an important asthma phenotype that measures reversibility of airway obstruction by comparing lung function before and after the administration of short-acting β2-agonists, common medications used for asthma treatment. We performed a genome-wide association study of BDR with 1,644 white asthmatic subjects from six drug clinical trials and attempted to replicate these findings in 1,051 white subjects from two independent cohorts. The most significant associated variant was near the SPATS2L gene. We knocked down SPATS2L mRNA in human airway smooth muscle cells and found that β2-adrenergic receptor levels increased, suggesting that SPATS2L may be a regulator of BDR. Our results highlight the promise of pursuing GWAS results that do not necessarily reach genome-wide significance and are an example of how results from pharmacogenetic GWAS can be studied functionally.