Mar 25, 2020

Variable expression quantitative trait loci analysis of breast cancer risk variants

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
G. A. WigginsLogan C Walker


Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 180 variants associated with breast cancer risk, however the underlying functional mechanisms and biological pathways which confer disease susceptibility remain largely unknown. As gene expression traits are under genetic regulation we hypothesise that differences in gene expression variability may identify causal breast cancer susceptibility genes. We performed variable expression quantitative trait loci (veQTL) analysis using tissue-specific expression data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Common Fund Project. veQTL analysis identified 70 associations (p < 5x10-8) consisting of 60 genes and 27 breast cancer risk variants, including 55 veQTL that were observed in breast tissue only. Pathway analysis of genes associated with breast-specific veQTL revealed an enrichment of four genes (CYP11B1, CYP17A1 HSD3B2 and STAR) involved in the C21-steroidal biosynthesis pathway that converts cholesterol to breast-related hormones (e.g. oestrogen). Each of these four genes were significantly more variable in individuals homozygous for rs11075995 (A/A) breast cancer risk allele located in the FTO gene, which encodes an RNA demethylase. The A/A allele was also found a...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Malignant Neoplasm of Stomach
Genetic Screening Method
Nucleic Acid Sequencing
Blastocyst Implantation, Natural
Strand Displacement Amplification
Gene Amplification Technique

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