Journal Article

Allele-specific expression of <i>TGFBR1</i> in colon cancer patients

Jerneja Tomsic, Kishore Guda, Sandya Liyanarachchi, Heather Hampel, Leanna Natale, Sanford D. Markowitz, Stephan M. Tanner and Albert de la Chapelle

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 31, issue 10, pages 1800-1804
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgq165

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The genetic component of colorectal cancer (CRC) predisposition has been only partially explained. We recently suggested that a subtle decrease in the expression of one allele of the TGFBR1 gene was a heritable quantitative trait predisposing to CRC. Here, we refined the measurements of allele-specific expression (ASE) of TGFBR1 in a population-based series of CRC patients and controls. Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3′-untranslated region of the gene were genotyped and used for ASE determination by pyrosequencing. After eliminating non-informative samples and samples with RNA of insufficient quality 109 cases and 125 controls were studied. Allelic ratios ranged between 0.74 and 1.69 without evidence of bimodality or cutoff points for ‘ASE’ versus ‘non-ASE’. Treating ASE as a continuous variable, cases had non-significantly different values than controls (P = 0.081 when comparing means by permutation test). However, cases had significantly higher ASE values when comparing medians by permutation test (P = 0.0027) and when using Wilcoxon test (P = 0.0094). We conclude that with the present-day technology, ASE differences between individuals and between cases and controls are too subtle to be used to assess CRC risk. More advanced technology is expected to resolve this issue as well as the low informativity caused by the limited heterozygosity of transcribed SNPs.

Journal Article.  3938 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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