Publications by authors named "Ludmila Vodickova"

124 Publications

DNA Repair Gene Polymorphisms and Chromosomal Aberrations in Exposed Populations.

Front Genet 2021 16;12:691947. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

DNA damage and unrepaired or insufficiently repaired DNA double-strand breaks as well as telomere shortening contribute to the formation of structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs). Non-specific CAs have been used in the monitoring of individuals exposed to potential carcinogenic chemicals and radiation. The frequency of CAs in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) has been associated with cancer risk and the association has also been found in incident cancer patients. CAs include chromosome-type aberrations (CSAs) and chromatid-type aberrations (CTAs) and their sum CAtot. In the present study, we used data from our published genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and extracted the results for 153 DNA repair genes for 607 persons who had occupational exposure to diverse harmful substances/radiation and/or personal exposure to tobacco smoking. The analyses were conducted using linear and logistic regression models to study the association of DNA repair gene polymorphisms with CAs. Considering an arbitrary cutoff level of 5 × 10, 14 loci passed the threshold, and included 7 repair pathways for CTA, 4 for CSA, and 3 for CAtot; 10 SNPs were eQTLs influencing the expression of the target repair gene. For the base excision repair pathway, the implicated genes and encode poly(ADP-ribosyl) transferases with multiple regulatory functions. and have an important role in maintaining genome stability through diverse mechanisms. Other candidate genes with known roles for CSAs included (general transcription factor IIH subunits 4 and 5), Fanconi anemia pathway genes, and , a mismatch repair gene. The present results suggest pathways with mechanistic rationale for the formation of CAs and emphasize the need to further develop techniques for measuring individual sensitivity to genotoxic exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2021.691947DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8242355PMC
June 2021

Associations between pancreatic expression quantitative traits and risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Carcinogenesis 2021 Jul 3. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Department of Gastroenterology and Institute for Digestive Research, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is among the most lethal cancers. Its poor prognosis is predominantly due to the fact that most patients remain asymptomatic until the disease reaches an advanced stage, alongside the lack of early markers and screening strategies. A better understanding of PDAC risk factors is essential for the identification of groups at high risk in the population. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been a powerful tool for detecting genetic variants associated with complex traits, including pancreatic cancer. By exploiting functional and GWAS data, we investigated the associations between polymorphisms affecting gene function in the pancreas (expression quantitative trait loci, eQTLs) and PDAC risk. In a two-phase approach, we analysed 13 713 PDAC cases and 43 784 controls and identified a genome-wide significant association between the A allele of the rs2035875 polymorphism and increased PDAC risk (P=7.14×10 -10). This allele is known to be associated with increased expression in the pancreas of the keratin genes KRT8 and KRT18, whose increased levels have been reported to correlate with various tumor cell characteristics. Additionally, the A allele of the rs789744 variant was associated with decreased risk of developing PDAC (P=3.56×10 -6). This SNP is situated in the SRGAP1 gene and the A allele is associated with higher expression of the gene, which in turn inactivates the cyclin-dependent protein 42 (CDC42) gene expression, thus decreasing the risk of PDAC. In conclusion, we present here a functional-based novel PDAC risk locus and an additional strong candidate supported by significant associations and plausible biological mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgab057DOI Listing
July 2021

Genetic variations in 3´UTRs of SMUG1 and NEIL2 genes modulate breast cancer risk, survival and therapy response.

Mutagenesis 2021 Jun 7. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of the Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Breast cancer (BC) is the most frequent malignancy in women accounting for approximately 2 million new cases worldwide annually. Several genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors are known to be involved in BC development and progression, including alterations in post-transcriptional gene regulation mediated by microRNAs (miRNAs). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in miRNA binding sites (miRSNPs) in 3'-untranslated (UTR) regions of target genes may affect miRNA-binding affinity and consequently modulate gene expression. We have previously reported a significant association of miRSNPs in the SMUG1 and NEIL2 genes with overall survival in colorectal cancer patients. SMUG1 and NEIL2 are DNA glycosylases involved in base excision DNA repair (BER). Assuming that certain genetic traits are common for solid tumours, we have investigated wherever variations in SMUG1 and NEIL2 genes display an association with BC risk, prognosis, and therapy response in a group of 673 BC patients and 675 healthy female controls. Patients with TC genotype of NEIL2 rs6997097 and receiving only hormonal therapy displayed markedly shorter overall survival (OS) (HR=4.15, 95% CI=1.7-10.16, P= 0.002) and disease-free survival (DFS) (HR=2.56, 95% CI=1.5-5.7, P= 0.02). Our results suggest that regulation of base excision repair glycosylases operated by miRNAs may modulate the prognosis of hormonally treated BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/geab017DOI Listing
June 2021

Polymorphisms within Autophagy-Related Genes Influence the Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Four Large Cohorts.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 12;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

The role of genetic variation in autophagy-related genes in modulating autophagy and cancer is poorly understood. Here, we comprehensively investigated the association of autophagy-related variants with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk and provide new insights about the molecular mechanisms underlying the associations. After meta-analysis of the genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from four independent European cohorts (8006 CRC cases and 7070 controls), two loci, ( = 2.19 × 10) and ( = 6.28 × 10) were associated with the risk of CRC. Mechanistically, the allele was associated with IL1 β levels after the stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with ( = 0.002), CD24 + CD38 + CD27 + IgM + B cell levels in blood ( = 0.0038) and serum levels of en-RAGE ( = 0.0068). allele was associated with TNF α and IL1 β levels after the stimulation of PBMCs with LPS ( = 0.0088 and = 0.0076, respectively), CD14+CD16- cell levels in blood ( = 0.0068) and serum levels of CCL19 and cortisol ( = 0.0052 and = 0.0074, respectively). Interestingly, no association with autophagy flux was observed. These results suggested an effect of the and loci in the pathogenesis of CRC, likely through the modulation of host immune responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7998818PMC
March 2021

Genetically predicted circulating concentrations of micronutrients and risk of colorectal cancer among individuals of European descent: a Mendelian randomization study.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 06;113(6):1490-1502

Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: The literature on associations of circulating concentrations of minerals and vitamins with risk of colorectal cancer is limited and inconsistent. Evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to support the efficacy of dietary modification or nutrient supplementation for colorectal cancer prevention is also limited.

Objectives: To complement observational and RCT findings, we investigated associations of genetically predicted concentrations of 11 micronutrients (β-carotene, calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and zinc) with colorectal cancer risk using Mendelian randomization (MR).

Methods: Two-sample MR was conducted using 58,221 individuals with colorectal cancer and 67,694 controls from the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, Colorectal Cancer Transdisciplinary Study, and Colon Cancer Family Registry. Inverse variance-weighted MR analyses were performed with sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of potential violations of MR assumptions.

Results: Nominally significant associations were noted for genetically predicted iron concentration and higher risk of colon cancer [ORs per SD (ORSD): 1.08; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.17; P value = 0.05] and similarly for proximal colon cancer, and for vitamin B-12 concentration and higher risk of colorectal cancer (ORSD: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.21; P value = 0.01) and similarly for colon cancer. A nominally significant association was also noted for genetically predicted selenium concentration and lower risk of colon cancer (ORSD: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96, 1.00; P value = 0.05) and similarly for distal colon cancer. These associations were robust to sensitivity analyses. Nominally significant inverse associations were observed for zinc and risk of colorectal and distal colon cancers, but sensitivity analyses could not be performed. None of these findings survived correction for multiple testing. Genetically predicted concentrations of β-carotene, calcium, copper, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B-6 were not associated with disease risk.

Conclusions: These results suggest possible causal associations of circulating iron and vitamin B-12 (positively) and selenium (inversely) with risk of colon cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8168352PMC
June 2021

DNA repair gene polymorphisms and chromosomal aberrations in healthy, nonsmoking population.

DNA Repair (Amst) 2021 05 27;101:103079. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Center in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, 30605 Pilsen, Czech Republic; Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Nonspecific structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs) can be found at around 1% of circulating lymphocytes from healthy individuals but the frequency may be higher after exposure to carcinogenic chemicals or radiation. The frequency of CAs has been measured in occupational monitoring and an increased frequency of CAs has also been associated with cancer risk. Alterations in DNA damage repair and telomere maintenance are thought to contribute to the formation of CAs, which include chromosome type of aberrations and chromatid type of aberrations. In the present study, we used the result of our published genome-wide association studies to extract data on 153 DNA repair genes from 866 nonsmoking persons who had no known occupational exposure to genotoxic substances. Considering an arbitrary cut-off level of P< 5 × 10, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging 22 DNA repair genes were significantly associated with CAs and they remained significant at P < 0.05 when adjustment for multiple comparisons was done by the Binomial Sequential Goodness of Fit test. Nucleotide excision repair pathway genes showed most associations with 6 genes. Among the associated genes were several in which mutations manifest CA phenotype, including Fanconi anemia, WRN, BLM and genes that are important in maintaining genome stability, as well as PARP2 and mismatch repair genes. RPA2 and RPA3 may participate in telomere maintenance through the synthesis of the C strand of telomeres. Errors in NHEJ1 function may lead to translocations. The present results show associations with some genes with known CA phenotype and suggest other pathways with mechanistic rationale for the formation of CAs in healthy nonsmoking population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dnarep.2021.103079DOI Listing
May 2021

Genetic architectures of proximal and distal colorectal cancer are partly distinct.

Gut 2021 Jul 25;70(7):1325-1334. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology - IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: An understanding of the etiologic heterogeneity of colorectal cancer (CRC) is critical for improving precision prevention, including individualized screening recommendations and the discovery of novel drug targets and repurposable drug candidates for chemoprevention. Known differences in molecular characteristics and environmental risk factors among tumors arising in different locations of the colorectum suggest partly distinct mechanisms of carcinogenesis. The extent to which the contribution of inherited genetic risk factors for CRC differs by anatomical subsite of the primary tumor has not been examined.

Design: To identify new anatomical subsite-specific risk loci, we performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses including data of 48 214 CRC cases and 64 159 controls of European ancestry. We characterised effect heterogeneity at CRC risk loci using multinomial modelling.

Results: We identified 13 loci that reached genome-wide significance (p<5×10) and that were not reported by previous GWASs for overall CRC risk. Multiple lines of evidence support candidate genes at several of these loci. We detected substantial heterogeneity between anatomical subsites. Just over half (61) of 109 known and new risk variants showed no evidence for heterogeneity. In contrast, 22 variants showed association with distal CRC (including rectal cancer), but no evidence for association or an attenuated association with proximal CRC. For two loci, there was strong evidence for effects confined to proximal colon cancer.

Conclusion: Genetic architectures of proximal and distal CRC are partly distinct. Studies of risk factors and mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and precision prevention strategies should take into consideration the anatomical subsite of the tumour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223655PMC
July 2021

The Interactions of DNA Repair, Telomere Homeostasis, and p53 Mutational Status in Solid Cancers: Risk, Prognosis, and Prediction.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 27;13(3). Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, AS CR, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.

The disruption of genomic integrity due to the accumulation of various kinds of DNA damage, deficient DNA repair capacity, and telomere shortening constitute the hallmarks of malignant diseases. DNA damage response (DDR) is a signaling network to process DNA damage with importance for both cancer development and chemotherapy outcome. DDR represents the complex events that detect DNA lesions and activate signaling networks (cell cycle checkpoint induction, DNA repair, and induction of cell death). , the guardian of the genome, governs the cell response, resulting in cell cycle arrest, DNA damage repair, apoptosis, and senescence. The mutational status of has an impact on DDR, and somatic mutations in this gene represent one of the critical events in human carcinogenesis. Telomere dysfunction in cells that lack p53-mediated surveillance of genomic integrity along with the involvement of DNA repair in telomeric DNA regions leads to genomic instability. While the role of individual players (DDR, telomere homeostasis, and ) in human cancers has attracted attention for some time, there is insufficient understanding of the interactions between these pathways. Since solid cancer is a complex and multifactorial disease with considerable inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity, we mainly dedicated this review to the interactions of DNA repair, telomere homeostasis, and mutational status, in relation to (a) cancer risk, (b) cancer progression, and (c) cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13030479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865496PMC
January 2021

Telomere length in peripheral blood lymphocytes related to genetic variation in telomerase, prognosis and clinicopathological features in breast cancer patients.

Mutagenesis 2020 12;35(6):491-497

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Videnska, Prague, Czech Republic.

Disruption of telomere length (TL) homeostasis in peripheral blood lymphocytes has been previously assessed as a potential biomarker of breast cancer (BC) risk. The present study addressed the relationship between lymphocyte TL (LTL), prognosis and clinicopathological features in the BC patients since these associations are insufficiently explored at present. LTL was measured in 611 BC patients and 154 healthy controls using the monochrome multiplex quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction assay. In addition, we genotyped nine TL-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms that had been identified through genome-wide association studies. Our results showed that the patients had significantly (P = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test) longer LTL [median (interquartile range); 1.48 (1.22-1.78)] than the healthy controls [1.27 (0.97-1.82)]. Patients homozygous (CC) for the common allele of hTERT rs2736108 or the variant allele (CC) of hTERC rs16847897 had longer LTL. The latter association remained statistically significant in the recessive genetic model after the Bonferroni correction (P = 0.004, Wilcoxon two-sample test). We observed no association between LTL and overall survival or relapse-free survival of the patients. LTL did not correlate with cancer staging based on Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), The tumor node metastasis (TNM) staging system classification, tumour grade or molecular BC subtypes. Overall, we observed an association between long LTL and BC disease and an association of the hTERC rs16847897 CC genotype with increased LTL. However, no association between LTL, clinicopathological features and survival of the patients was found.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/geaa030DOI Listing
December 2020

Adiposity, metabolites, and colorectal cancer risk: Mendelian randomization study.

BMC Med 2020 12 17;18(1):396. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Higher adiposity increases the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but whether this relationship varies by anatomical sub-site or by sex is unclear. Further, the metabolic alterations mediating the effects of adiposity on CRC are not fully understood.

Methods: We examined sex- and site-specific associations of adiposity with CRC risk and whether adiposity-associated metabolites explain the associations of adiposity with CRC. Genetic variants from genome-wide association studies of body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR, unadjusted for BMI; N = 806,810), and 123 metabolites from targeted nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics (N = 24,925), were used as instruments. Sex-combined and sex-specific Mendelian randomization (MR) was conducted for BMI and WHR with CRC risk (58,221 cases and 67,694 controls in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium, Colorectal Cancer Transdisciplinary Study, and Colon Cancer Family Registry). Sex-combined MR was conducted for BMI and WHR with metabolites, for metabolites with CRC, and for BMI and WHR with CRC adjusted for metabolite classes in multivariable models.

Results: In sex-specific MR analyses, higher BMI (per 4.2 kg/m) was associated with 1.23 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08, 1.38) times higher CRC odds among men (inverse-variance-weighted (IVW) model); among women, higher BMI (per 5.2 kg/m) was associated with 1.09 (95% CI = 0.97, 1.22) times higher CRC odds. WHR (per 0.07 higher) was more strongly associated with CRC risk among women (IVW OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.08, 1.43) than men (IVW OR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.81, 1.36). BMI or WHR was associated with 104/123 metabolites at false discovery rate-corrected P ≤ 0.05; several metabolites were associated with CRC, but not in directions that were consistent with the mediation of positive adiposity-CRC relations. In multivariable MR analyses, associations of BMI and WHR with CRC were not attenuated following adjustment for representative metabolite classes, e.g., the univariable IVW OR for BMI with CRC was 1.12 (95% CI = 1.00, 1.26), and this became 1.11 (95% CI = 0.99, 1.26) when adjusting for cholesterol in low-density lipoprotein particles.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that higher BMI more greatly raises CRC risk among men, whereas higher WHR more greatly raises CRC risk among women. Adiposity was associated with numerous metabolic alterations, but none of these explained associations between adiposity and CRC. More detailed metabolomic measures are likely needed to clarify the mechanistic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01855-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745469PMC
December 2020

Genetic variations in microRNA-binding sites of solute carrier transporter genes as predictors of clinical outcome in colorectal cancer.

Carcinogenesis 2021 04;42(3):378-394

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Videnska, Prague, Czech Republic.

One of the principal mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in highly frequent solid tumors, such as colorectal cancer (CRC), is the decreased activity of drug transport into tumor cells due to low expression of important membrane proteins, such as solute carrier (SLC) transporters. Sequence complementarity is a major determinant for target gene recognition by microRNAs (miRNAs). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in target sequences transcribed into messenger RNA may therefore alter miRNA binding to these regions by either creating a new site or destroying an existing one. miRSNPs may explain the modulation of expression levels in association with increased/decreased susceptibility to common diseases as well as in chemoresistance and the consequent inter-individual variability in drug response. In the present study, we investigated whether miRSNPs in SLC transporter genes may modulate CRC susceptibility and patient's survival. Using an in silico approach for functional predictions, we analyzed 26 miRSNPs in 9 SLC genes in a cohort of 1368 CRC cases and 698 controls from the Czech Republic. After correcting for multiple tests, we found several miRSNPs significantly associated with patient's survival. SNPs in SLCO3A1, SLC22A2 and SLC22A3 genes were defined as prognostic factors in the classification and regression tree analysis. In contrast, we did not observe any significant association between miRSNPs and CRC risk. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study investigating miRSNPs potentially affecting miRNA binding to SLC transporter genes and their impact on CRC susceptibility or patient's prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgaa136DOI Listing
April 2021

A Combined Proteomics and Mendelian Randomization Approach to Investigate the Effects of Aspirin-Targeted Proteins on Colorectal Cancer.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Mar 14;30(3):564-575. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Nutrition and Metabolism Section, International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Lyon, France.

Background: Evidence for aspirin's chemopreventative properties on colorectal cancer (CRC) is substantial, but its mechanism of action is not well-understood. We combined a proteomic approach with Mendelian randomization (MR) to identify possible new aspirin targets that decrease CRC risk.

Methods: Human colorectal adenoma cells (RG/C2) were treated with aspirin (24 hours) and a stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) based proteomics approach identified altered protein expression. Protein quantitative trait loci (pQTLs) from INTERVAL ( = 3,301) and expression QTLs (eQTLs) from the eQTLGen Consortium ( = 31,684) were used as genetic proxies for protein and mRNA expression levels. Two-sample MR of mRNA/protein expression on CRC risk was performed using eQTL/pQTL data combined with CRC genetic summary data from the Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR), Colorectal Transdisciplinary (CORECT), Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer (GECCO) consortia and UK Biobank (55,168 cases and 65,160 controls).

Results: Altered expression was detected for 125/5886 proteins. Of these, aspirin decreased MCM6, RRM2, and ARFIP2 expression, and MR analysis showed that a standard deviation increase in mRNA/protein expression was associated with increased CRC risk (OR: 1.08, 95% CI, 1.03-1.13; OR: 3.33, 95% CI, 2.46-4.50; and OR: 1.15, 95% CI, 1.02-1.29, respectively).

Conclusions: MCM6 and RRM2 are involved in DNA repair whereby reduced expression may lead to increased DNA aberrations and ultimately cancer cell death, whereas ARFIP2 is involved in actin cytoskeletal regulation, indicating a possible role in aspirin's reduction of metastasis.

Impact: Our approach has shown how laboratory experiments and population-based approaches can combine to identify aspirin-targeted proteins possibly affecting CRC risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086774PMC
March 2021

Impact of genetic polymorphisms in kinetochore and spindle assembly genes on chromosomal aberration frequency in healthy humans.

Mutat Res 2020 Oct - Dec;858-860:503253. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany; Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ), Heidelberg, Germany; Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Heidelberg, Germany.

Genomic instability is a characteristic of a majority of human malignancies. Chromosomal instability is a common form of genomic instability that can be caused by defects in mitotic checkpoint genes. Chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood are also indicative of genotoxic exposure and potential cancer risk. We evaluated associations between inherited genetic variants in 33 mitotic checkpoint genes and the frequency of chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in the presence and absence of environmental genotoxic exposure. Associations with both chromosome and chromatid type of aberrations were evaluated in two cohorts of healthy individuals, namely an exposed and a reference group consisting of 607 and 866 individuals, respectively. Binary logistic and linear regression analyses were performed for the association studies. Bonferroni-corrected significant p-value was 5 × 10 for 99 tests based on the number of analyzed genes and phenotypes. In the reference group the most prominent associations were found with variants in CCNB1, a master regulator of mitosis, and in genes involved in kinetochore function, including CENPH and TEX14, whereas in the exposed group the main association was found with variants in TTK, also an important gene in kinetochore function. How the identified variants may affect the fidelity of mitotic checkpoint remains to be investigated, however, the present study suggests that genetic variation may partly explain interindividual variation in the formation of CAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrgentox.2020.503253DOI Listing
March 2021

Identifying Novel Susceptibility Genes for Colorectal Cancer Risk From a Transcriptome-Wide Association Study of 125,478 Subjects.

Gastroenterology 2021 03 12;160(4):1164-1178.e6. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Background And Aims: Susceptibility genes and the underlying mechanisms for the majority of risk loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for colorectal cancer (CRC) risk remain largely unknown. We conducted a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) to identify putative susceptibility genes.

Methods: Gene-expression prediction models were built using transcriptome and genetic data from the 284 normal transverse colon tissues of European descendants from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx), and model performance was evaluated using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 355). We applied the gene-expression prediction models and GWAS data to evaluate associations of genetically predicted gene-expression with CRC risk in 58,131 CRC cases and 67,347 controls of European ancestry. Dual-luciferase reporter assays and knockdown experiments in CRC cells and tumor xenografts were conducted.

Results: We identified 25 genes associated with CRC risk at a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P < 9.1 × 10, including genes in 4 novel loci, PYGL (14q22.1), RPL28 (19q13.42), CAPN12 (19q13.2), MYH7B (20q11.22), and MAP1L3CA (20q11.22). In 9 known GWAS-identified loci, we uncovered 9 genes that have not been reported previously, whereas 4 genes remained statistically significant after adjusting for the lead risk variant of the locus. Through colocalization analysis in GWAS loci, we additionally identified 12 putative susceptibility genes that were supported by TWAS analysis at P < .01. We showed that risk allele of the lead risk variant rs1741640 affected the promoter activity of CABLES2. Knockdown experiments confirmed that CABLES2 plays a vital role in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Conclusions: Our study reveals new putative susceptibility genes and provides new insight into the biological mechanisms underlying CRC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.08.062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7956223PMC
March 2021

Chromosomal damage and telomere length in peripheral blood lymphocytes of cancer patients.

Oncol Rep 2020 Nov 21;44(5):2219-2230. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague 142 00, Czech Republic.

Accumulation of non‑specific structural chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and telomere shortening contribute to genome instability, which constitutes as one of the hallmarks of cancer. CAs arise due to direct DNA damage or telomere shortening. CAs in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), which are considered to be markers of exposure, have been previously reported to serve a role in the pathophysiology and progression of cancer through mechanisms that are poorly understood. In addition, the prognostic relevance of telomere length (TL) in patients with cancer remains to be elucidated. In the present study, CAs and TL in PBL isolated from patients with newly diagnosed cancer (151 breast, 96 colorectal, 90 lung) and 335 cancer‑free control individuals were investigated. These results were then correlated with clinicopathological factors and follow‑up data. The accumulation of CAs in PBL was observed with increased susceptibility to breast and lung cancer (P<0.0001), while individuals with longer TL were found to be at a higher risk of breast cancer (P<0.0001). Increased chromatid‑type aberrations were also revealed to be associated with lower overall survival of patients with breast and colorectal cancers using a multivariate model. Compared with control individuals, no association was observed between TL and CAs or age in patients with cancer. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates the association between CAs/TL in PBL and the susceptibility, prognosis and survival of patients with breast, colorectal and lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2020.7774DOI Listing
November 2020

Genome-wide Modeling of Polygenic Risk Score in Colorectal Cancer Risk.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 09 5;107(3):432-444. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Accurate colorectal cancer (CRC) risk prediction models are critical for identifying individuals at low and high risk of developing CRC, as they can then be offered targeted screening and interventions to address their risks of developing disease (if they are in a high-risk group) and avoid unnecessary screening and interventions (if they are in a low-risk group). As it is likely that thousands of genetic variants contribute to CRC risk, it is clinically important to investigate whether these genetic variants can be used jointly for CRC risk prediction. In this paper, we derived and compared different approaches to generating predictive polygenic risk scores (PRS) from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) including 55,105 CRC-affected case subjects and 65,079 control subjects of European ancestry. We built the PRS in three ways, using (1) 140 previously identified and validated CRC loci; (2) SNP selection based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) clumping followed by machine-learning approaches; and (3) LDpred, a Bayesian approach for genome-wide risk prediction. We tested the PRS in an independent cohort of 101,987 individuals with 1,699 CRC-affected case subjects. The discriminatory accuracy, calculated by the age- and sex-adjusted area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC), was highest for the LDpred-derived PRS (AUC = 0.654) including nearly 1.2 M genetic variants (the proportion of causal genetic variants for CRC assumed to be 0.003), whereas the PRS of the 140 known variants identified from GWASs had the lowest AUC (AUC = 0.629). Based on the LDpred-derived PRS, we are able to identify 30% of individuals without a family history as having risk for CRC similar to those with a family history of CRC, whereas the PRS based on known GWAS variants identified only top 10% as having a similar relative risk. About 90% of these individuals have no family history and would have been considered average risk under current screening guidelines, but might benefit from earlier screening. The developed PRS offers a way for risk-stratified CRC screening and other targeted interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.07.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477007PMC
September 2020

DNA Mismatch Repair Gene Variants in Sporadic Solid Cancers.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Aug 3;21(15). Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic.

The phenotypic effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the development of sporadic solid cancers are still scarce. The aim of this review was to summarise and analyse published data on the associations between SNPs in mismatch repair genes and various cancers. The mismatch repair system plays a unique role in the control of the genetic integrity and it is often inactivated (germline and somatic mutations and hypermethylation) in cancer patients. Here, we focused on germline variants in mismatch repair genes and found the outcomes rather controversial: some SNPs are sometimes ascribed as protective, while other studies reported their pathological effects. Regarding the complexity of cancer as one disease, we attempted to ascertain if particular polymorphisms exert the effect in the same direction in the development and treatment of different malignancies, although it is still not straightforward to conclude whether polymorphisms always play a clear positive role or a negative one. Most recent and robust genome-wide studies suggest that risk of cancer is modulated by variants in mismatch repair genes, for example in colorectal cancer. Our study shows that rs1800734 in or rs2303428 in may influence the development of different malignancies. The lack of functional studies on many DNA mismatch repair SNPs as well as their interactions are not explored yet. Notably, the concerted action of more variants in one individual may be protective or harmful. Further, complex interactions of DNA mismatch repair variations with both the environment and microenvironment in the cancer pathogenesis will deserve further attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155561DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432688PMC
August 2020

Distant Metastasis in Colorectal Cancer Patients-Do We Have New Predicting Clinicopathological and Molecular Biomarkers? A Comprehensive Review.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jul 24;21(15). Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Videnska 1083, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a serious health problem worldwide. Approximately half of patients will develop distant metastasis after CRC resection, usually with very poor prognosis afterwards. Because patient performance after distant metastasis surgery remains very heterogeneous, ranging from death within 2 years to a long-term cure, there is a clinical need for a precise risk stratification of patients to aid pre- and post-operative decisions. Furthermore, around 20% of identified CRC cases are at IV stage disease, known as a metastatic CRC (mCRC). In this review, we overview possible molecular and clinicopathological biomarkers that may provide prognostic and predictive information for patients with distant metastasis. These may comprise sidedness of the tumor, molecular profile and epigenetic characteristics of the primary tumor and arising metastatic CRC, and early markers reflecting cancer cell resistance in mCRC and biomarkers identified from transcriptome. This review discusses current stage in employment of these biomarkers in clinical practice as well as summarizes current experience in identifying predictive biomarkers in mCRC treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432613PMC
July 2020

DNA Repair and Ovarian Carcinogenesis: Impact on Risk, Prognosis and Therapy Outcome.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Jun 28;12(7). Epub 2020 Jun 28.

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Videnska 1083, 14220 Prague, Czech Republic.

There is ample evidence for the essential involvement of DNA repair and DNA damage response in the onset of solid malignancies, including ovarian cancer. Indeed, highpenetrance germline mutations in DNA repair genes are important players in familial cancers: , mutations or mismatch repair, and polymerase deficiency in colorectal, breast, and ovarian cancers. Recently, some molecular hallmarks (e.g., , , , or mutations) of ovarian carcinomas were identified. The manuscript overviews the role of DNA repair machinery in ovarian cancer, its risk, prognosis, and therapy outcome. We have attempted to expose molecular hallmarks of ovarian cancer with a focus on DNA repair system and scrutinized genetic, epigenetic, functional, and protein alterations in individual DNA repair pathways (homologous recombination, non-homologous end-joining, DNA mismatch repair, base- and nucleotide-excision repair, and direct repair). We suggest that lack of knowledge particularly in non-homologous end joining repair pathway and the interplay between DNA repair pathways needs to be confronted. The most important genes of the DNA repair system are emphasized and their targeting in ovarian cancer will deserve further attention. The function of those genes, as well as the functional status of the entire DNA repair pathways, should be investigated in detail in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7408288PMC
June 2020

Polygenic and multifactorial scores for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma risk prediction.

J Med Genet 2021 Jun 26;58(6):369-377. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Most cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are asymptomatic in early stages, and the disease is typically diagnosed in advanced phases, resulting in very high mortality. Tools to identify individuals at high risk of developing PDAC would be useful to improve chances of early detection.

Objective: We generated a polygenic risk score (PRS) for PDAC risk prediction, combining the effect of known risk SNPs, and carried out an exploratory analysis of a multifactorial score.

Methods: We tested the associations of the individual known risk SNPs on up to 2851 PDAC cases and 4810 controls of European origin from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium. Thirty risk SNPs were included in a PRS, which was computed on the subset of subjects that had 100% call rate, consisting of 839 cases and 2040 controls in PANDoRA and 6420 cases and 4889 controls from the previously published Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium I-III and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium genome-wide association studies. Additional exploratory multifactorial scores were constructed by complementing the genetic score with smoking and diabetes.

Results: The scores were associated with increased PDAC risk and reached high statistical significance (OR=2.70, 95% CI 1.99 to 3.68, p=2.54×10 highest vs lowest quintile of the weighted PRS, and OR=14.37, 95% CI 5.57 to 37.09, p=3.64×10, highest vs lowest quintile of the weighted multifactorial score).

Conclusion: We found a highly significant association between a PRS and PDAC risk, which explains more than individual SNPs and is a step forward in the direction of the construction of a tool for risk stratification in the population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-106961DOI Listing
June 2021

Genome-wide association study identifies an early onset pancreatic cancer risk locus.

Int J Cancer 2020 10 1;147(8):2065-2074. Epub 2020 May 1.

Institute for Translational Medicine, Medical School, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary.

Early onset pancreatic cancer (EOPC) is a rare disease with a very high mortality rate. Almost nothing is known on the genetic susceptibility of EOPC, therefore, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify novel genetic variants specific for patients diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) at younger ages. In the first phase, conducted on 821 cases with age of onset ≤60 years, of whom 198 with age of onset ≤50, and 3227 controls from PanScan I-II, we observed four SNPs (rs7155613, rs2328991, rs4891017 and rs12610094) showing an association with EOPC risk (P < 1 × 10 ). We replicated these SNPs in the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium and used additional in silico data from PanScan III and PanC4. Among these four variants rs2328991 was significant in an independent set of 855 cases with age of onset ≤60 years, of whom 265 with age of onset ≤50, and 4142 controls from the PANDoRA consortium while in the in silico data, we observed no statistically significant association. However, the resulting meta-analysis supported the association (P = 1.15 × 10 ). In conclusion, we propose a novel variant rs2328991 to be involved in EOPC risk. Even though it was not possible to find a mechanistic link between the variant and the function, the association is supported by a solid statistical significance obtained in the largest study on EOPC genetics present so far in the literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33004DOI Listing
October 2020

Oxidative Damage in Sporadic Colorectal Cancer: Molecular Mapping of Base Excision Repair Glycosylases in Colorectal Cancer Patients.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Apr 2;21(7). Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.

Oxidative stress with subsequent premutagenic oxidative DNA damage has been implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis. The repair of oxidative DNA damage is initiated by lesion-specific DNA glycosylases (hOGG1, NTH1, MUTYH). The direct evidence of the role of oxidative DNA damage and its repair is proven by hereditary syndromes (MUTYH-associated polyposis, NTHL1-associated tumor syndrome), where germline mutations cause loss-of-function in glycosylases of base excision repair, thus enabling the accumulation of oxidative DNA damage and leading to the adenoma-colorectal cancer transition. Unrepaired oxidative DNA damage often results in G:C>T:A mutations in tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes and widespread occurrence of chromosomal copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity. However, the situation is more complicated in complex and heterogeneous disease, such as sporadic colorectal cancer. Here we summarized our current knowledge of the role of oxidative DNA damage and its repair on the onset, prognosis and treatment of sporadic colorectal cancer. Molecular and histological tumor heterogeneity was considered. Our study has also suggested an additional important source of oxidative DNA damage due to intestinal dysbiosis. The roles of base excision repair glycosylases (hOGG1, MUTYH) in tumor and adjacent mucosa tissues of colorectal cancer patients, particularly in the interplay with other factors (especially microenvironment), deserve further attention. Base excision repair characteristics determined in colorectal cancer tissues reflect, rather, a disease prognosis. Finally, we discuss the role of DNA repair in the treatment of colon cancer, since acquired or inherited defects in DNA repair pathways can be effectively used in therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177219PMC
April 2020

Telomere maintenance in interplay with DNA repair in pathogenesis and treatment of colorectal cancer.

Mutagenesis 2020 07;35(3):261-271

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Vídeňská, Praha, Czech Republic.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) continues to be one of the leading malignancies and causes of tumour-related deaths worldwide. Both impaired DNA repair mechanisms and disrupted telomere length homeostasis represent key culprits in CRC initiation, progression and prognosis. Mechanistically, altered DNA repair results in the accumulation of mutations in the genome and, ultimately, in genomic instability. DNA repair also determines the response to chemotherapeutics in CRC treatment, suggesting its utilisation in the prediction of therapy response and individual approach to patients. Telomere attrition resulting in replicative senescence, simultaneously by-passing cell cycle checkpoints, is a hallmark of malignant transformation of the cell. Telomerase is almost ubiquitous in advanced solid cancers, including CRC, and its expression is fundamental to cell immortalisation. Therefore, there is a persistent effort to develop therapeutics, which are telomerase-specific and gentle to non-malignant tissues. However, in practice, we are still at the level of clinical trials. The current state of knowledge and the route, which the research takes, gives us a positive perspective that the problem of molecular models of telomerase activation and telomere length stabilisation will finally be solved. We summarise the current literature herein, by pointing out the crosstalk between proteins involved in DNA repair and telomere length homeostasis in relation to CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/geaa005DOI Listing
July 2020

Expression quantitative trait loci in ABC transporters are associated with survival in 5-FU treated colorectal cancer patients.

Mutagenesis 2020 07;35(3):273-281

IIGM Italian Institute for Genomic Medicine, Turin, Italy.

The chemotherapeutic efficacy in colorectal cancer (CRC) is limited due to the inter-individual variability in drug response and the development of tumour resistance. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are crucial in the development of resistance by the efflux of anticancer agents from cancer cells. In this study, we identified 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 11 ABC transporter genes acting as an expression of quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), i.e. whose variation influence the expression of many downstream genes. These SNPs were genotyped in a case-control study comprising 1098 cases and 1442 healthy controls and analysed in relation to CRC development risk and patient survival. Considering a strict correction for multiple tests, we did not observe any significant association between SNPs and CRC risk. The rs3819720 polymorphism in the ABCB3/TAP2 gene was statistically significantly associated with shorter overall survival (OS) in the codominant, and dominant models [GA vs. GG, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.48; P = 0.002; AA vs. GG, HR = 1.70; P = 0.004 and GA + AA vs. GG, HR = 1.52; P = 0.0006]. Additionally, GA carriers of the same SNP displayed worse OS after receiving 5-FU based chemotherapy. The variant allele of rs3819720 polymorphism statistically significantly affected the expression of 36 downstream genes. Screening for eQTL polymorphisms in relevant genes such as ABC transporters that can regulate the expression of several other genes may help to identify the genetic background involved in the individual response to the treatment of CRC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gez050DOI Listing
July 2020

Circulating Levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 and Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 Associate With Risk of Colorectal Cancer Based on Serologic and Mendelian Randomization Analyses.

Gastroenterology 2020 04 27;158(5):1300-1312.e20. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Background & Aims: Human studies examining associations between circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and colorectal cancer risk have reported inconsistent results. We conducted complementary serologic and Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses to determine whether alterations in circulating levels of IGF1 or IGFBP3 are associated with colorectal cancer development.

Methods: Serum levels of IGF1 were measured in blood samples collected from 397,380 participants from the UK Biobank, from 2006 through 2010. Incident cancer cases and cancer cases recorded first in death certificates were identified through linkage to national cancer and death registries. Complete follow-up was available through March 31, 2016. For the MR analyses, we identified genetic variants associated with circulating levels of IGF1 and IGFBP3. The association of these genetic variants with colorectal cancer was examined with 2-sample MR methods using genome-wide association study consortia data (52,865 cases with colorectal cancer and 46,287 individuals without [controls]) RESULTS: After a median follow-up period of 7.1 years, 2665 cases of colorectal cancer were recorded. In a multivariable-adjusted model, circulating level of IGF1 associated with colorectal cancer risk (hazard ratio per 1 standard deviation increment of IGF1, 1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.17). Similar associations were found by sex, follow-up time, and tumor subsite. In the MR analyses, a 1 standard deviation increment in IGF1 level, predicted based on genetic factors, was associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer risk (odds ratio 1.08; 95% CI 1.03-1.12; P = 3.3 × 10). Level of IGFBP3, predicted based on genetic factors, was associated with colorectal cancer risk (odds ratio per 1 standard deviation increment, 1.12; 95% CI 1.06-1.18; P = 4.2 × 10). Colorectal cancer risk was associated with only 1 variant in the IGFBP3 gene region (rs11977526), which also associated with anthropometric traits and circulating level of IGF2.

Conclusions: In an analysis of blood samples from almost 400,000 participants in the UK Biobank, we found an association between circulating level of IGF1 and colorectal cancer. Using genetic data from 52,865 cases with colorectal cancer and 46,287 controls, a higher level of IGF1, determined by genetic factors, was associated with colorectal cancer. Further studies are needed to determine how this signaling pathway might contribute to colorectal carcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7152801PMC
April 2020

Epistatic effect of TLR3 and cGAS-STING-IKKε-TBK1-IFN signaling variants on colorectal cancer risk.

Cancer Med 2020 02 23;9(4):1473-1484. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Objective: The TLR3/cGAS-STING-IFN signaling has recently been reported to be disturbed in colorectal cancer due to deregulated expression of the genes involved. Our study aimed to investigate the influence of potential regulatory variants in these genes on the risk of sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) in a Czech cohort of 1424 CRC patients and 1114 healthy controls.

Methods: The variants in the TLR3, CGAS, TMEM173, IKBKE, and TBK1 genes were selected using various online bioinformatic tools, such as UCSC browser, HaploReg, Regulome DB, Gtex Portal, SIFT, PolyPhen2, and miRNA prediction tools.

Results: Logistic regression analysis adjusted for age and sex detected a nominal association between CRC risk and three variants, CGAS rs72960018 (OR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.11-2.53, P-value = .01), CGAS rs9352000 (OR: 2.02, 95% CI: 1.07-3.84, P-value = .03) and TMEM173 rs13153461 (OR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.03-2.27, P-value = .03). Their cumulative effect revealed a threefold increased CRC risk in carriers of 5-6 risk alleles compared to those with 0-2 risk alleles. Epistatic interactions between these genes and the previously genotyped IFNAR1, IFNAR2, IFNA, IFNB, IFNK, IFNW, IRF3, and IRF7 genes, were computed to test their effect on CRC risk. Overall, we obtained nine pair-wise interactions within and between the CGAS, TMEM173, IKBKE, and TBK1 genes. Two of them remained statistically significant after Bonferroni correction. Additional 52 interactions were observed when IFN variants were added to the analysis.

Conclusions: Our data suggest that epistatic interactions and a high number of risk alleles may play an important role in CRC carcinogenesis, offering novel biological understanding for the CRC management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013077PMC
February 2020

Cumulative Burden of Colorectal Cancer-Associated Genetic Variants Is More Strongly Associated With Early-Onset vs Late-Onset Cancer.

Gastroenterology 2020 04 19;158(5):1274-1286.e12. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington; Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, Washington.

Background & Aims: Early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC, in persons younger than 50 years old) is increasing in incidence; yet, in the absence of a family history of CRC, this population lacks harmonized recommendations for prevention. We aimed to determine whether a polygenic risk score (PRS) developed from 95 CRC-associated common genetic risk variants was associated with risk for early-onset CRC.

Methods: We studied risk for CRC associated with a weighted PRS in 12,197 participants younger than 50 years old vs 95,865 participants 50 years or older. PRS was calculated based on single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with CRC in a large-scale genome-wide association study as of January 2019. Participants were pooled from 3 large consortia that provided clinical and genotyping data: the Colon Cancer Family Registry, the Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study, and the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium and were all of genetically defined European descent. Findings were replicated in an independent cohort of 72,573 participants.

Results: Overall associations with CRC per standard deviation of PRS were significant for early-onset cancer, and were stronger compared with late-onset cancer (P for interaction = .01); when we compared the highest PRS quartile with the lowest, risk increased 3.7-fold for early-onset CRC (95% CI 3.28-4.24) vs 2.9-fold for late-onset CRC (95% CI 2.80-3.04). This association was strongest for participants without a first-degree family history of CRC (P for interaction = 5.61 × 10). When we compared the highest with the lowest quartiles in this group, risk increased 4.3-fold for early-onset CRC (95% CI 3.61-5.01) vs 2.9-fold for late-onset CRC (95% CI 2.70-3.00). Sensitivity analyses were consistent with these findings.

Conclusions: In an analysis of associations with CRC per standard deviation of PRS, we found the cumulative burden of CRC-associated common genetic variants to associate with early-onset cancer, and to be more strongly associated with early-onset than late-onset cancer, particularly in the absence of CRC family history. Analyses of PRS, along with environmental and lifestyle risk factors, might identify younger individuals who would benefit from preventive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103489PMC
April 2020

DNA repair capacity and response to treatment of colon cancer.

Pharmacogenomics 2019 11 6;20(17):1225-1233. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Department of Molecular Biology of Cancer, Institute of Experimental Medicine, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

DNA repair, a complex biological process, ensures genomic integrity. Alterations in DNA repair, occurring in many cancers, contribute to the accumulation of mutations in the genome, resulting in genomic instability and cancer progression. DNA repair also plays a substantial role in response to chemotherapeutics: rapidly dividing colon cancer cells, vulnerable to DNA-damaging agents and overcoming DNA repair, undergo cell death. DNA repair capacity represents a complex biomarker, integrating gene variants, gene expressions, the stability of gene products, the effect of inhibitors/stimulators, lifestyle and environmental factors. Here, we discuss DNA repair capacity in sporadic colon cancer, a frequent malignancy worldwide, in relation to tumor heterogeneity, prognosis and prediction, measurements in surrogate and target tissues and suggest important tasks to be addressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/pgs-2019-0070DOI Listing
November 2019
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