PLoS One 2013 8;8(3):e57243. Epub 2013 Mar 8.
Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America.
Accumulating evidence suggests that alterations in immune function may be important in the etiology of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). To identify genetic markers in immune-related pathways, we evaluated 3,985 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 230 candidate gene regions (adhesion-extravasation-migration, arachidonic acid metabolism/eicosanoid signaling, complement and coagulation cascade, cytokine signaling, innate pathogen detection and antimicrobials, leukocyte signaling, TNF/NF-kB pathway or other) in a case-control study of 344 PTC cases and 452 controls. We used logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (OR) and calculate one degree of freedom P values of linear trend (P(SNP-trend) ) for the association between genotype (common homozygous, heterozygous, variant homozygous) and risk of PTC. To correct for multiple comparisons, we applied the false discovery rate method (FDR). Gene region- and pathway-level associations (P(Region) and P(Pathway)) were assessed by combining individual P(SNP-trend) values using the adaptive rank truncated product method. Two SNPs (rs6115, rs6112) in the SERPINA5 gene were significantly associated with risk of PTC (P(SNP-FDR)/P(SNP-trend)= 0.02/6×10(-6) and P(SNP-FDR)/P(SNP-trend)= 0.04/2×10(-5), respectively). These associations were independent of a history of autoimmune thyroiditis (OR = 6.4; 95% confidence interval: 3.0-13.4). At the gene region level, SERPINA5 was suggestively associated with risk of PTC (P(Region-FDR)/P(Region)= 0.07/0.0003). Overall, the complement and coagulation cascade pathway was the most significant pathway (P(Pathway)= 0.02) associated with PTC risk largely due to the strong effect of SERPINA5. Our results require replication but suggest that the SERPINA5 gene, which codes for the protein C inhibitor involved in many biological processes including inflammation, may be a new susceptibility locus for PTC.