Ulf Hannelius

Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (11)48.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (HSD17B1) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of 17β-estradiol. The current study aimed at confirming the reduced risk of breast cancer in carriers of the non-synonymous HSD17B1_937_A>G (rs605059) polymorphism who used any hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for 10 years or longer. We performed an independent association study using four breast cancer case-control studies from Australia, Germany, and Sweden. In all, 5,777 cases and 8,189 age-matched controls of European descent were genotyped by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and TaqMan. Risk estimates were calculated by interaction analysis and main effect analysis adjusted for age and study. Main effect analyses for women using any HRT for 10 years or longer (1,428 cases versus 1,724 controls) revealed a protective effect of the HSD17B1_937_G allele on breast cancer risk (OR 0.86, 95 % CI: 0.73-0.99; p = 0.048). Thus, our previous finding of a protective effect of the HSD17B1_937_G allele on HRT-associated breast cancer risk has now been confirmed both in independent large patient cohorts and a comprehensive pooled analysis supporting the hypothesis that a HSD17B1-mediated decreased conversion of estrone to the more potent 17β-estradiol may reduce the estrogenic effects, thereby reducing the risk of developing breast cancer during long-term HRT use.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
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    ABSTRACT: The dyslexia candidate gene, DYX1C1, shown to regulate and interact with estrogen receptors and involved in the regulation of neuronal migration, has recently been proposed as a putative cancer biomarker. This study was undertaken to assess the prognostic value and therapy-predictive potential of DYX1C1 mRNA and protein expression in breast cancer. DYX1C1 mRNA expression was assessed at the mRNA level in three independent population-derived patient cohorts. An association to estrogen/progesterone receptor status, Elston grade, gene expression subtype and lymph node status was analyzed within these cohorts. DYX1C1 protein expression was examined using immunohistochemistry in cancer and normal breast tissue. The statistical analyses were performed using the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum test, ANOVA, Fisher's exact test and a multivariate proportional hazard (Cox) model. DYX1C1 mRNA is significantly more highly expressed in tumors that have been classified as estrogen receptor α and progesterone receptor-positive. The expression of DYX1C1 among the molecular subtypes shows the lowest median expression within the basal type tumors, which are considered to have the worst prognosis. The expression of DYX1C1 is significantly lower in tumors graded as Elston grade 3 compared with grades 1 and 2. DYX1C1 protein is expressed in 88% of tumors and in all 10 normal breast tissues examined. Positive protein expression was significantly correlated to overall survival (Hazard ratio 3.44 [CI 1.84-6.42]) of the patients but not to any of the variables linked with mRNA expression. We show that the expression of DYX1C1 in breast cancer is associated with several clinicopathological parameters and that loss of DYX1C1 correlates with a more aggressive disease, in turn indicating that DYX1C1 is a potential prognostic biomarker in breast cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · BMC Cancer
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
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    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease and may be characterized on the basis of whether estrogen receptors (ER) are expressed in the tumour cells. ER status of breast cancer is important clinically, and is used both as a prognostic indicator and treatment predictor. In this study, we focused on identifying genetic markers associated with ER-negative breast cancer risk. We conducted a genome-wide association analysis of 285,984 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 617 ER-negative breast cancer cases and 4,583 controls. We also conducted a genome-wide pathway analysis on the discovery dataset using permutation-based tests on pre-defined pathways. The extent of shared polygenic variation between ER-negative and ER-positive breast cancers was assessed by relating risk scores, derived using ER-positive breast cancer samples, to disease state in independent, ER-negative breast cancer cases. Association with ER-negative breast cancer was not validated for any of the five most strongly associated SNPs followed up in independent studies (1,011 ER-negative breast cancer cases, 7,604 controls). However, an excess of small P-values for SNPs with known regulatory functions in cancer-related pathways was found (global P = 0.052). We found no evidence to suggest that ER-negative breast cancer shares a polygenic basis to disease with ER-positive breast cancer. ER-negative breast cancer is a distinct breast cancer subtype that merits independent analyses. Given the clinical importance of this phenotype and the likelihood that genetic effect sizes are small, greater sample sizes and further studies are required to understand the etiology of ER-negative breast cancers.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Breast cancer research: BCR
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    ABSTRACT: A population sample representing the current Swedish population was analysed for maternally and paternally inherited markers with the aim of characterizing genetic variation and population structure. The sample set of 820 females and 883 males were extracted and amplified from Guthrie cards of all the children born in Sweden during one week in 2003. 14 Y-chromosomal and 34 mitochondrial DNA SNPs were genotyped. The haplogroup frequencies of the counties closest to Finland, Norway, Denmark and the Saami region in the north exhibited similarities to the neighbouring populations, resulting from the formation of the Swedish nation during the past millennium. Moreover, the recent immigration waves of the 20th century are visible in haplogroup frequencies, and have led to increased diversity and divergence of the major cities. Signs of genetic drift can be detected in several counties in northern as well as in southern Sweden. With the exception of the most drifted subpopulations, the population structure in Sweden appears mostly clinal. In conclusion, our study yielded valuable information of the structure of the Swedish population, and demonstrated the usefulness of biobanks as a source of population genetic research. Our sampling strategy, nonselective on the current population rather than stratified according to ancestry, is informative for capturing the contemporary variation in the increasingly panmictic populations of the world.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Annals of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Despite several thousands of years of close contacts, there are genetic differences between the neighbouring countries of Finland and Sweden. Within Finland, signs of an east-west duality have been observed, whereas the population structure within Sweden has been suggested to be more subtle. With a fine-scale substructure like this, inferring the cluster membership of individuals requires a large number of markers. However, some studies have suggested that this number could be reduced if the individual spatial coordinates are taken into account in the analysis. We genotyped 34 unlinked autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), originally designed for zygosity testing, from 2044 samples from Sweden and 657 samples from Finland, and 30 short tandem repeats (STRs) from 465 Finnish samples. We saw significant population structure within Finland but not between the countries or within Sweden, and isolation by distance within Finland and between the countries. In Sweden, we found a deficit of heterozygotes that we could explain by simulation studies to be due to both a small non-random genotyping error and hidden substructure caused by immigration. Geneland, a model-based Bayesian clustering algorithm, clustered the individuals into groups that corresponded to Sweden and Eastern and Western Finland when spatial coordinates were used, whereas in the absence of spatial information, only one cluster was inferred. We show that the power to cluster individuals based on their genetic similarity is increased when including information about the spatial coordinates. We also demonstrate the importance of estimating the size and effect of genotyping error in population genetics in order to strengthen the validity of the results.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · BMC Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: A requirement for performing robust genetic and statistical analyses on twins is correctly assigned zygosities. In order to increase the power to detect small risk factors of disease, zygosity testing should also be amenable for high throughput screening. In this study we validate and implement the use of a panel of 50 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for reliable high throughput zygosity testing and compare it to a panel of 16 short tandem repeats (STRs). We genotyped both genomic (gDNA) and whole genome amplified DNA (WGA DNA), ending up with 47 SNP and 11 STR markers fulfilling our quality criteria. Out of 99 studied twin pairs, 2 were assigned a different zygosity using SNP and STR data as compared to self reported zygosity in a questionnaire. We also performed a sensitivity analysis based on simulated data where we evaluated the effects of genotyping error, shifts in allele frequencies and missing data on the qualitative zygosity assignments. The frequency of false positives was less than 0.01 when assuming a 1% genotyping error, a decrease of 10% of the observed minor allele frequency compared to the actual values and up to 10 missing markers. The SNP markers were also successfully genotyped on both gDNA and WGA DNA from whole blood, saliva and filter paper. In conclusion, we validate a robust panel of 47 highly multiplexed SNPs that provide reliable and high quality data on a range of different DNA templates.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Twin Research and Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the DNA mismatch repair gene MLH1 are a major cause of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). No mutant phenotype is observed before the wild-type (wt) allele is somatically inactivated in target tissue. We addressed the mechanisms of MLH1 inactivation in 25 colorectal (CRC) and 32 endometrial cancers (ECs) from MLH1 mutation carriers (Mut1, in-frame genomic deletion; Mut2, out-of-frame splice site mutation; Mut3, missense mutation). By a quantitative method, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF), utilizing four intragenic single nucleotide polymorphisms and mutations, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was present in 31/57 (54.4%) of tumors. The wt allele displayed LOH more often than the mutant allele (23/57 vs 8/57, P=0.006). For Mut1, LOH was more frequent in CRC than EC (10/11 vs 1/13, P<0.0001), whereas Mut2 and Mut3 displayed opposite LOH pattern. Moreover, although wt LOH predominated in CRC irrespective of the predisposing mutation, LOH often affected the mutant allele in EC from Mut2 and Mut3 carriers (6/19, 31.6%). MLH1 promoter methylation, which reflected a more widespread hypermethylation tendency, occurred in 4/55 (7.3%) of tumors and was inversely associated with LOH. In conclusion, the patterns of somatic events (LOH and promoter methylation) differ depending on the tissue and germline mutation, which may in part explain the differential tumor susceptibility of different organs in HNPCC. MALDI-TOF provides a novel approach for the detection and quantification of LOH.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2007 · Oncogene
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    ABSTRACT: Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) have some common features with asthma. To study whether G protein-coupled receptor for asthma susceptibility (GPRA) contributes to RDS or BPD. A haplotype association study was performed in a case-control setting of 521 Finnish infants (including 176 preterm neonates with RDS and 37 with BPD). Immunoreactivity of GPRA isoforms A and B was determined in pulmonary samples of fetuses, term infants and preterm infants with RDS or BPD. GPRA mRNA expression was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in samples from nasal respiratory epithelium of adults, term infants and preterm infants. In infants with RDS born at 32-35 weeks of gestation, GPRA haplotype H1 was significantly underrepresented in RDS, whereas haplotype H4/H5 was associated with an increased risk. As in asthma, GPRA B isoform was induced in bronchial smooth muscle cells in RDS and BPD. In nasal respiratory epithelium, relative GPRA mRNA expression was strong in adults, weak in preterm and slightly higher in term samples. The results suggest that near-term RDS and asthma share the same susceptibility and protective GPRA haplotypes. Altered GPRA expression may play a role in the pathogenesis of RDS and BPD in preterm infants.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Annals of Medicine
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    U Hannelius · C M Lindgren · E Melén · A Malmberg · U von Dobeln · J Kere
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    ABSTRACT: Neonatal screening for metabolic diseases, involving samples stored on filter paper (Guthrie spots), provides a potential resource for genetic epidemiological studies. To develop a method to make these dried blood spots available for large scale genetic epidemiology. DNA from untraceable Guthrie spots was extracted using a saponin and chelex-100 based method and preamplified by improved primer preamplification. Analyses were done on 38 samples each of fresh, 10, and 25 year old Guthrie spots and the success rate determined for PCR amplification for five amplicon lengths. The method was applicable even on 25 year old samples. The success rate was 100% for 100 bp amplicons and 80% for 396 bp amplicons. Ninety four Guthrie samples were genotyped, including carriers of two different PKU mutations; all carriers were found (six R158Q, four R252W), with no false positives. Finally, 2132 anonymous samples from the Swedish PKU registry were extracted and preamplified and the allele frequencies of APOepsilon4, PPARgamma Pro12Ala, and the CCR5 32 bp deletion determined. Local variations in allele frequencies suggested subpopulation structuring. There was a significant difference (p<0.01) in regional allele frequencies for the CCR5 32 bp deletion in the Swedish population. Whole genome amplification makes it feasible to conduct large genetic epidemiological studies using PKU screening registries.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2005 · Journal of Medical Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (EDA) is an X-linked disorder characterized by abnormal development of ectoderm and its appendices. The EDA gene encodes different isoforms of ectodysplasin, a transmembrane protein. The two longest isoforms, ectodysplasin-A1 and -A2, which differ by an insertion of two amino acids, are trimeric type II membrane proteins with an extracellular portion containing a short collagenous domain and a TNF ligand motif in the C-terminal region. We show that ectodysplasin is released from cells to the culture medium. Deletion constructs were used to localize the cleavage site and show that the putative recognition sequence of a furin-like enzyme is needed for the cleavage. Some EDA patients have missense mutations affecting this recognition sequence, suggesting that cleavage has biological significance in vivo. EDAR, a recently cloned member of the TNFR family and the product of the downless gene, is able to co-precipitate ectodysplasin, confirming that they form a ligand-receptor pair. In situ hybridization and immunostaining studies show that ectodysplasin and EDAR are expressed in adjacent or partially overlapping layers in the developing human skin. We conclude that as a soluble ligand, ectodysplasin is able to interact with EDAR and mediate signals needed for the development of ectodermal appendages.
    Full-text · Article · May 2001 · Human Molecular Genetics

Publication Stats

326 Citations
48.71 Total Impact Points


  • 2006-2013
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • • Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
      • • Institutionen för biovetenskaper och näringslära
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2012
    • Institut für klinische Pharmakologie
      Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2007
    • Karolinska University Hospital
      • Clinical Research Center
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2001
    • University of Helsinki
      • Department of Medical Genetics
      Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland