A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of bladder cancer identified a genetic marker rs8102137 within the 19q12 region as a novel susceptibility variant. This marker is located upstream of the CCNE1 gene, which encodes cyclin E, a cell-cycle protein. We performed genetic fine-mapping analysis of the CCNE1 region using data from two bladder cancer GWAS (5,942 cases and 10,857 controls). We found that the original GWAS marker rs8102137 represents a group of 47 linked SNPs (with r(2) ≥ 0.7) associated with increased bladder cancer risk. From this group, we selected a functional promoter variant rs7257330, which showed strong allele-specific binding of nuclear proteins in several cell lines. In both GWASs, rs7257330 was associated only with aggressive bladder cancer, with a combined per-allele OR = 1.18 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09-1.27, P = 4.67 × 10(-5)] versus OR = 1.01 (95% CI, 0.93-1.10, P = 0.79) for nonaggressive disease, with P = 0.0015 for case-only analysis. Cyclin E protein expression analyzed in 265 bladder tumors was increased in aggressive tumors (P = 0.013) and, independently, with each rs7257330-A risk allele (P(trend) = 0.024). Overexpression of recombinant cyclin E in cell lines caused significant acceleration of cell cycle. In conclusion, we defined the 19q12 signal as the first GWAS signal specific for aggressive bladder cancer. Molecular mechanisms of this genetic association may be related to cyclin E overexpression and alteration of cell cycle in carriers of CCNE1 risk variants. In combination with established bladder cancer risk factors and other somatic and germline genetic markers, the CCNE1 variants could be useful for inclusion into bladder cancer risk prediction models.
Pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest human malignancies, is almost invariably associated with the presence of an oncogenic form of Kras. Mice expressing oncogenic Kras in the pancreas recapitulate the stepwise progression of the human disease. The inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 is often expressed by multiple cell types within the tumor microenvironment. Here, we show that IL-6 is required for the maintenance and progression of pancreatic cancer precursor lesions. In fact, the lack of IL-6 completely ablates cancer progression even in presence of oncogenic Kras. Mechanistically, we show that IL-6 synergizes with oncogenic Kras to activate the reactive oxygen species detoxification program downstream of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) signaling cascade. In addition, IL-6 regulates the inflammatory microenvironment of pancreatic cancer throughout its progression, providing several signals that are essential for carcinogenesis. Thus, IL-6 emerges as a key player at all stages of pancreatic carcinogenesis and a potential therapeutic target.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive cancer that occurs more frequently in men, but is associated with longer survival in women. Insight into the survival advantage of female patients may advance the molecular understanding of MPM and identify therapeutic interventions that will improve the prognosis for all MPM patients. In this study, we performed whole-genome sequencing of tumor specimens from 10 MPM patients and matched control samples to identify potential driver mutations underlying MPM. We identified molecular differences associated with gender and histology. Specifically, single-nucleotide variants of BAP1 were observed in 21% of cases, with lower mutation rates observed in sarcomatoid MPM (P < 0.001). Chromosome 22q loss was more frequently associated with the epithelioid than that nonepitheliod histology (P = 0.037), whereas CDKN2A deletions occurred more frequently in nonepithelioid subtypes among men (P = 0.021) and were correlated with shorter overall survival for the entire cohort (P = 0.002) and for men (P = 0.012). Furthermore, women were more likely to harbor TP53 mutations (P = 0.004). Novel mutations were found in genes associated with the integrin-linked kinase pathway, including MYH9 and RHOA. Moreover, expression levels of BAP1, MYH9, and RHOA were significantly higher in nonepithelioid tumors, and were associated with significant reduction in survival of the entire cohort and across gender subgroups. Collectively, our findings indicate that diverse mechanisms highly related to gender and histology appear to drive MPM.
Female Sprague-Dawley rats, 50 days of age, were treated with a single dose of 5 mg of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene intragastrically. 3 days after carcinogen treatment, the rats were put on semisynthetic diets containing 20% by weight of corn oil (CO), soybean oil (SBO), crude palm oil (CPO), refined, bleached, deodorized palm oil (RBD PO) and metabisulfite-treated palm oil (MCPO) for 5 months. During the course of experiments, rats fed on different dietary fats had similar rate of growth. Rats fed 20% CO or SBO diet have higher tumor incidence than rats fed on palm oil (PO) diets; however differences of mean tumor latency periods among the groups were not statistically significant. At autopsy, rats fed on high CO or SBO diets had significantly more tumors than rats fed on the three PO diets. Our results showed that high PO diets did not promote chemically induced mammary tumorigenesis in female rats when compared to high CO or SBO diets. CO and SBO differ greatly from the palm oils in their contents of tocopherols, tocotrienols, and carotenes. But further experiments would be required to determine whether the observed differences in tumor incidence and tumor numbers were due to the differences in these minor components or due to the unique triglyceride structure of the palm oils. Analysis of the fatty acid profiles of plasma total lipids of tumor-bearing rats and of the tumor total lipids showed that, with the exception of arachidonic acid, the fatty acid profiles reflect the nature of the dietary fats. At autopsy, there were no differences in the plasma total cholesterol contents among rats fed on different dietary fats, but rats fed on palm oil diets had a significantly higher plasma triglyceride level than that of rats fed CO or SBO diets. As for the tumor lipids, there were no significant differences in the triglyceride, diglyceride, and phospholipid levels when the CO or SBO groups were compared to the palm oil groups.
The relationship between immunoglobulin allotypes and risk of developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma was examined in a comparative study of 50 Chinese cases and 140 Chinese controls and 50 Malay cases and 79 Malay controls residing in Malaysia. Although the most common Gm phenotype was elevated in both Chinese and Malay nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients compared to their controls, there were no significant differences between cases and controls in the distribution of Gm haplotypes in either population. There were no differences between cases and controls in the distribution of Km alleles in either population. Thus a previously reported association of Km(1) with increased nasopharyngeal carcinoma risk in Tunisia is not confirmed in two Mongoloid populations in Malaysia.
We conducted a case-control study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma among Malaysian Chinese to test inhalants, salted fish consumption, and use of tobacco, alcohol, and nasal ointments as risk factors for the disease. Interviews with 100 cases and 100 controls indicated that salted fish consumption during childhood was a significant risk factor (relative risk, 3.0; p = 0.04); childhood daily consumption of this food item compared to nonconsumption carried a relative risk of 17.4 [95% confidence interval = (2.7, 111.1)]. Occupational exposure to smokes (relative risk, 6.0; p = 0.006) and to dusts (relative risk, 4.0; p less than 0.001) was also significantly associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The two risk factors (consumption of salted fish and exposure to smoke and/or dust) were independent of each other. There was no association between nasopharyngeal carcinoma and tobacco, alcohol, or nasal ointments.
Cancer stem-like cells (CSC) are thought to drive tumor initiation, metastasis, relapse and therapeutic resistance, but their specific pathogenic characters in many cancers including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have yet to be well defined. Here we develop findings that the growth factor HGF promotes CSC sphere formation in NSCLC cell populations. In patient-derived sphere-forming assays (PD-SFA) with HGF, CD49f and CD104 were defined as novel markers of lung CSC (LCSC). In particular, we isolated a subpopulation of CD166(+)CD49f(hi)CD104(-)Lin(-) LCSC present in all human specimens of NSCLC examined, regardless of their histological subtypes or genetic driver mutations. This specific cell population was tumorigenic and capable of self-renewal, giving rise to tumor spheres in vitro and orthotopic lung tumors in immune-compromised mice. Mechanistic investigations established that NOTCH1 was preferentially expressed in this cell subpopulation and required for self-renewal via the transcription factor HES1. Through a distinct HES1-independent pathway, NOTCH1 also protected LCSCs from cisplatin-induced cell death. Notably, treatment with a γ-secretase inhibitor that blunts NOTCH1 function ablated self-renewing LCSC activity and restored platinum sensitivity in vitro and in vivo Overall, our results define the pathogenic characters of a cancer stem-like subpopulation in lung cancer, the targeting of which may relieve platinum resistance in this disease.
Previous prospective studies assessing the relationship between circulating concentrations of vitamin D and prostate cancer risk have shown inconclusive results, particularly for risk of aggressive disease. In this study, we examine the association between prediagnostic concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] and the risk of prostate cancer overall and by tumor characteristics. Principal investigators of 19 prospective studies provided individual participant data on circulating 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D for up to 13,462 men with incident prostate cancer and 20,261 control participants. ORs for prostate cancer by study-specific fifths of season-standardized vitamin D concentration were estimated using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression. 25(OH)D concentration was positively associated with risk for total prostate cancer (multivariable-adjusted OR comparing highest vs. lowest study-specific fifth was 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.31; P trend < 0.001). However, this association varied by disease aggressiveness (Pheterogeneity = 0.014); higher circulating 25(OH)D was associated with a higher risk of nonaggressive disease (OR per 80 percentile increase = 1.24, 1.13-1.36) but not with aggressive disease (defined as stage 4, metastases, or prostate cancer death, 0.95, 0.78-1.15). 1,25(OH)2D concentration was not associated with risk for prostate cancer overall or by tumor characteristics. The absence of an association of vitamin D with aggressive disease does not support the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency increases prostate cancer risk. Rather, the association of high circulating 25(OH)D concentration with a higher risk of nonaggressive prostate cancer may be influenced by detection bias. SIGNIFICANCE: This international collaboration comprises the largest prospective study on blood vitamin D and prostate cancer risk and shows no association with aggressive disease but some evidence of a higher risk of nonaggressive disease.
Pathogenic sequence variants (PSV) in BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) are associated with increased risk and severity of prostate cancer. We evaluated whether PSVs in BRCA1/2 were associated with risk of overall prostate cancer or high grade (Gleason 8+) prostate cancer using an international sample of 65 BRCA1 and 171 BRCA2 male PSV carriers with prostate cancer, and 3,388 BRCA1 and 2,880 BRCA2 male PSV carriers without prostate cancer. PSVs in the 3' region of BRCA2 (c.7914+) were significantly associated with elevated risk of prostate cancer compared with reference bin c.1001-c.7913 [HR = 1.78; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25-2.52; P = 0.001], as well as elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 3.11; 95% CI, 1.63-5.95; P = 0.001). c.756-c.1000 was also associated with elevated prostate cancer risk (HR = 2.83; 95% CI, 1.71-4.68; P = 0.00004) and elevated risk of Gleason 8+ prostate cancer (HR = 4.95; 95% CI, 2.12-11.54; P = 0.0002). No genotype-phenotype associations were detected for PSVs in BRCA1. These results demonstrate that specific BRCA2 PSVs may be associated with elevated risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: Aggressive prostate cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers may vary according to the specific BRCA2 mutation inherited by the at-risk individual.
DNA methylation is instrumental for gene regulation. Global changes in the epigenetic landscape have been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. However, the role of DNA methylation in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains unclear. In this study, high-density genetic and DNA methylation data in white blood cells from the Framingham Heart Study (N = 1,595) were used to build genetic models to predict DNA methylation levels. These prediction models were then applied to the summary statistics of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of ovarian cancer including 22,406 EOC cases and 40,941 controls to investigate genetically predicted DNA methylation levels in association with EOC risk. Among 62,938 CpG sites investigated, genetically predicted methylation levels at 89 CpG were significantly associated with EOC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P < 7.94 × 10-7. Of them, 87 were located at GWAS-identified EOC susceptibility regions and two resided in a genomic region not previously reported to be associated with EOC risk. Integrative analyses of genetic, methylation, and gene expression data identified consistent directions of associations across 12 CpG, five genes, and EOC risk, suggesting that methylation at these 12 CpG may influence EOC risk by regulating expression of these five genes, namely MAPT, HOXB3, ABHD8, ARHGAP27, and SKAP1. We identified novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk and propose that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk via regulation of gene expression. SIGNIFICANCE: Identification of novel DNA methylation markers associated with EOC risk suggests that methylation at multiple CpG may affect EOC risk through regulation of gene expression.
Registry-based epidemiologic studies suggest associations between chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). As genetic susceptibility contributes to a large proportion of chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases, we hypothesize that the genomic regions surrounding established genome-wide associated variants for these chronic inflammatory diseases are associated with PDAC. We examined the association between PDAC and genomic regions (±500 kb) surrounding established common susceptibility variants for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis. We analyzed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies data for 8,384 cases and 11,955 controls of European descent from two large consortium studies using the summary data-based adaptive rank truncated product method to examine the overall association of combined genomic regions for each inflammatory disease group. Combined genomic susceptibility regions for ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic pancreatitis were associated with PDAC at P values < 0.05 (0.0040, 0.0057, 0.011, and 3.4 × 10-6, respectively). After excluding the 20 PDAC susceptibility regions (±500 kb) previously identified by GWAS, the genomic regions for ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and inflammatory bowel disease remained associated with PDAC (P = 0.0029, 0.0057, and 0.0098, respectively). Genomic regions for celiac disease (P = 0.22) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (P = 0.078) were not associated with PDAC. Our results support the hypothesis that genomic regions surrounding variants associated with inflammatory intestinal diseases, particularly, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic pancreatitis are associated with PDAC. SIGNIFICANCE: The joint effects of common variants in genomic regions containing susceptibility loci for inflammatory bowel disease and chronic pancreatitis are associated with PDAC and may provide insights to understanding pancreatic cancer etiology.
Germline variation and smoking are independently associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We conducted genome-wide smoking interaction analysis of PDAC using genotype data from four previous genome-wide association studies in individuals of European ancestry (7,937 cases and 11,774 controls). Examination of expression quantitative trait loci data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project followed by colocalization analysis was conducted to determine whether there was support for common SNP(s) underlying the observed associations. Statistical tests were two sided and P < 5 × 10-8 was considered statistically significant. Genome-wide significant evidence of qualitative interaction was identified on chr2q21.3 in intron 5 of the transmembrane protein 163 (TMEM163) and upstream of the cyclin T2 (CCNT2). The most significant SNP using the Empirical Bayes method, in this region that included 45 significantly associated SNPs, was rs1818613 [per allele OR in never smokers 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.82-0.93; former smokers 1.00, 95% CI, 0.91-1.07; current smokers 1.25, 95% CI 1.12-1.40, P interaction = 3.08 × 10-9). Examination of the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project data demonstrated an expression quantitative trait locus in this region for TMEM163 and CCNT2 in several tissue types. Colocalization analysis supported a shared SNP, rs842357, in high linkage disequilibrium with rs1818613 (r 2 = 0. 94) driving both the observed interaction and the expression quantitative trait loci signals. Future studies are needed to confirm and understand the differential biologic mechanisms by smoking status that contribute to our PDAC findings. SIGNIFICANCE: This large genome-wide interaction study identifies a susceptibility locus on 2q21.3 that significantly modified PDAC risk by smoking status, providing insight into smoking-associated PDAC, with implications for prevention.