Estrogen and progesterone-related gene variants and colorectal cancer risk in women

Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
BMC Medical Genetics (Impact Factor: 2.08). 05/2011; 12(1):78. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2350-12-78
Source: PubMed


Observational studies and randomized trials have suggested that estrogens and/or progesterone may lower the risk for colorectal cancer. Inherited variation in the sex-hormone genes may be one mechanism by which sex hormones affect colorectal cancer, although data are limited.
We conducted a comprehensive evaluation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding 3 hormone receptors (ESR1, ESR2, PGR) and 5 hormone synthesizers (CYP19A1 and CYP17A1, HSD17B1, HSD17B2, HSD17B4) among 427 women with incident colorectal cancer and 871 matched controls who were Caucasians of European ancestry from 93676 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational cohort. A total of 242 haplotype-tagging and functional SNPs in the 8 genes were included for analysis. Unconditional logistic regression with adjustment for age and hysterectomy status was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
We observed a weak association between the CYP17A1 rs17724534 SNP and colorectal cancer risk (OR per risk allele (A) = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.09-1.78, corrected p-value = 0.07). In addition, a suggestive interaction between rs17724534 and rs10883782 in 2 discrete LD blocks of CYP17A1 was observed in relation to colorectal cancer (empirical p value = 0.04). Moreover, one haplotype block of CYP19A1 was associated with colorectal cancer (corrected global p value = 0.02), which likely reflected the association with the tagging SNP, rs1902584, in the block.
Our findings offer some support for a suggestive association of CYP17A1 and CYP19A1 variants with colorectal cancer risk.

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    • "The hydroxysteroid- 17beta-dehydrogenase (HSD17B1) gene, located on chromosome 17q11-q21, encodes the enzyme 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD1), which catalyzes the conversion of estrone to estradiol. Variants in HSD17B1 have been examined for their relation to hormone levels, [13] [14] breast cancer [13, 15–24], endometriosis and endometrial cancer [13, 25–29], colorectal cancer [30] [31], and prostate cancer [32], with inconsistent results. Studies of polymorphisms in HSD17B1 have focused on rs605059, a nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism in exon 6. "
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