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1.  Association between Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in ERCC4 and Risk of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41853.
Background
Excision repair cross-complementation group 4 gene (ERCC4/XPF) plays an important role in nucleotide excision repair and participates in removal of DNA interstrand cross-links and DNA double-strand breaks. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ERCC4 may impact repair capacity and affect cancer susceptibility.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this case-control study, we evaluated associations of four selected potentially functional SNPs in ERCC4 with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in 1,040 non-Hispanic white patients with SCCHN and 1,046 cancer-free matched controls. We found that the variant GG genotype of rs2276466 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of SCCHN (OR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.50–0.96), and that the variant TT genotype of rs3136038 showed a borderline significant decreased risk with SCCHN (OR = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.58–1.01) in the recessive model. Such protective effects were more evident in oropharyngeal cancer (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.40–0.92 for rs2276466; OR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.48–0.98 for rs3136038). No significant associations were found for the other two SNPs (rs1800067 and rs1799798). In addition, individuals with the rs2276466 GG or with the rs3136038 TT genotypes had higher levels of ERCC4 mRNA expression than those with the corresponding wild-type genotypes in 90 Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from Caucasians.
Conclusions
These results suggest that these two SNPs (rs2276466 and rs3136038) in ERCC4 may be functional and contribute to SCCHN susceptibility. However, our findings need to be replicated in further large epidemiological and functional studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041853
PMCID: PMC3407112  PMID: 22848636
2.  Promoter Polymorphisms in Matrix Metallopeptidase 1 and Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma 
Matrix Metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1) is one of the interstitial collagens in the extracellular matrix metalloproteinase family and involved in tumor behaviors. However, there is no report on the role of genetic variation in MMP1 in risk of cutaneous melanoma (CM). We investigated the association between genotypes and haplotypes of seven reported MMP1 promoter polymorphisms (-1607 G ins/del, -839G>A, -755T>G, -519A>G, -422A>T, -340A>G, and -320T>C, genotyped by the TaqMan assay) and CM risk in 872 patients and 873 cancer-free controls. These seven polymorphisms were not in linkage disequilibrium among each other (r2 < 0.63). Compared to their common homozygous genotypes, the variant -519GG was associated with significantly decreased CM risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.52-0.99), whereas variant -422TT and -320CC were associated with significantly increased CM risk (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.11-2.03 and OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.05-2.81, respectively) after adjustment for age, sex, family history, and sun-exposure related risk factors. The number of risk alleles of these three polymorphisms was associated with CM risk in a dose- response manner (Ptrend = 0.0002). In the stratification analysis, we found that the associations of these polymorphisms with CM risk were modified by some of the risk factors. Furthermore, the haplotypes Gdel-A-G-A-T-G-T and G-G-G-A-T-A-T were associated with significantly increased CM risk (ORs = 1.56 and 2.13, 95% CIs = 1.02-2.38 and 1.22-3.70, respectively). These findings suggest that MMP1 promoter polymorphisms may individually or jointly play roles in the development of CM.
doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2010.06.129
PMCID: PMC2987546  PMID: 20655738
genotypes; haplotypes; genetic susceptibility; molecular epidemiology; skin neoplasms
3.  A novel functional DEC1 promoter polymorphism −249T>C reduces risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck 
Carcinogenesis  2010;31(12):2082-2090.
Human DEC1 (deleted in esophageal cancer 1) gene is located on chromosome 9q, a region frequently deleted in various types of human cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). However, only one epidemiological study has evaluated the association between DEC1 polymorphisms and cancer risk. In this hospital-based case–control study, four potentially functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms −1628 G>A (rs1591420), −606 T>C [rs4978620, in complete linkage disequilibrium with −249T>C (rs2012775) and −122 G>A(rs2012566)], c.179 C>T p.Ala60Val (rs2269700) and 3′ untranslated region-rs3750505 as well as the TP53 tumor suppressor gene codon 72 (Arg72Pro, rs1042522) polymorphism were genotyped in 1111 non-Hispanic Whites SCCHN patients and 1130 age-and sex-matched cancer-free controls. After adjustment for age, sex and smoking and drinking status, the variant −606CC (i.e. −249CC) homozygotes had a significantly reduced SCCHN risk (adjusted odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.52–0.99) compared with the −606TT homozygotes. Stratification analyses showed that a reduced risk associated with the −606CC genotype was more pronounced in subgroups of non-smokers, non-drinkers, younger subjects (defined as ≤57 years), carriers of the TP53 Arg/Arg (rs1042522) genotype, patients with oropharyngeal cancer or late-stage SCCHN. Further in silico analysis revealed that the −249 T-to-C change led to a gain of a transcription factor-binding site. Additional functional analysis showed that the −249T-to-C change significantly enhanced transcriptional activity of the DEC1 promoter and the DNA–protein-binding activity. We conclude that the DEC1 promoter −249 T>C (rs2012775) polymorphism is functional, modulating susceptibility to SCCHN among non-Hispanic Whites.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgq198
PMCID: PMC2994282  PMID: 20935061
4.  Polymorphisms of Homologous Recombination Genes and Clinical Outcomes of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated with Definitive Radiotherapy 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20055.
The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is the major mechanism to maintain genomic stability in response to irradiation. We hypothesized that genetic polymorphisms in DSB repair genes may affect clinical outcomes among non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with definitive radio(chemo)therapy. We genotyped six potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (i.e., RAD51 −135G>C/rs1801320 and −172G>T/rs1801321, XRCC2 4234G>C/rs3218384 and R188H/rs3218536 G>A, XRCC3 T241M/rs861539 and NBN E185Q/rs1805794) and estimated their associations with overall survival (OS) and radiation pneumonitis (RP) in 228 NSCLC patients. We found a predictive role of RAD51 −135G>C SNP in RP development (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.31–0.86, P = 0.010 for CG/CC vs. GG). We also found that RAD51 −135G>C and XRCC2 R188H SNPs were independent prognostic factors for overall survival (adjusted HR = 1.70, 95% CI, 1.14–2.62, P = 0.009 for CG/CC vs. GG; and adjusted HR = 1.70; 95% CI, 1.02–2.85, P = 0.043 for AG vs. GG, respectively) and that the SNP-survival association was most pronounced in the presence of RP. Our study suggests that HR genetic polymorphisms, particularly RAD51 −135G>C, may influence overall survival and radiation pneumonitis in NSCLC patients treated with definitive radio(chemo)therapy. Large studies are needed to confirm our findings.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020055
PMCID: PMC3102071  PMID: 21647442

Results 1-4 (4)