Cancer Res 2013 Mar 18;73(6):1876-82. Epub 2013 Jan 18.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
TGF-β plays a critical role in normal mammary development and morphogenesis. Decreased TGF-β signaling has been associated with increased mammographic density. Percent mammographic density (PMD) adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI) is a strong risk factor and predictor of breast cancer risk. PMD is highly heritable, but few genetic determinants have been identified. We investigated the association between genetic variation in TGFB1 and PMD using a cross-sectional study of 2,038 women who were members of the population-based Singapore Chinese Health Study cohort. We assessed PMD using a computer-assisted method. We used linear regression to examine the association between nine tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of TGFB1 and PMD and their interaction with parity, adjusting for age, BMI, and dialect group. We calculated P values adjusted for correlated tests (P(ACT)) to account for multiple testing. The strongest association was observed for rs2241716. Adjusted PMD was higher by 1.5% per minor allele (P(ACT) = 0.04). When stratifying by parity, this association was limited to nulliparous women. For nulliparous women, adjusted PMD was higher by 8.6% per minor allele (P(ACT) = 0.003; P for interaction with parity = 0.002). Three additional TGFB1 tagging SNPs, which were in linkage disequilibrium with rs2241716, were statistically significantly associated with adjusted PMD (P(ACT) < 0.05) for nulliparous women. However, none of these three SNPs showed statistically significant association after adjusting for rs2241716. Our data support that TGFB1 genetic variation may be an important genetic determinant of mammographic density measure that predicts breast cancer risk, particularly in nulliparous women.