Genetic variants of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway genes and risk of pancreatic cancer.

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Because the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway is involved in development and progression of pancreatic cancer, we investigated associations between genetic variants of the PPAR pathway genes and pancreatic cancer risk by using three published genome-wide association study datasets including 8477 cases and 6946 controls of European ancestry. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis was also performed for correlations between genotypes of the identified genetic variants and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression levels of their genes by using available databases of the 1000 Genomes, TCGA, and GTEx projects. In the single-locus logistic regression analysis, we identified 1141 out of 17 532 significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 112 PPAR pathway genes. Further multivariate logistic regression analysis identified three independent, potentially functional loci (rs12947620 in MED1, rs11079651 in PRKCA, and rs34367566 in PRKCB) for pancreatic cancer risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI], [1.06-1.17], P = 5.46 × 10-5 ; OR = 1.10, 95% CI, [1.04-1.15], P = 1.99 × 10-4 ; and OR = 1.09, 95% CI, [1.04-1.14], P = 3.16 × 10-4 , respectively) among 65 SNPs that passed multiple comparison correction by false discovery rate (< 0.2). When risk genotypes of these three SNPs were combined, carriers with 2 to 3 unfavorable genotypes (NUGs) had a higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those with 0 to 1 NUGs. The eQTL analysis showed that rs34367566 A>AG was associated with decreased expression levels of PRKCB mRNA in 373 lymphoblastoid cell lines. Our findings indicate that genetic variants of the PPAR pathway genes, particularly MED1, PRKCA, and PRKCB, may contribute to susceptibility to pancreatic cancer.





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Liu, Xiaowen, Danwen Qian, Hongliang Liu, James L Abbruzzese, Sheng Luo, Kyle M Walsh and Qingyi Wei (2020). Genetic variants of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathway genes and risk of pancreatic cancer. Molecular carcinogenesis. 10.1002/mc.23208 Retrieved from

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James Abbruzzese

D. C. I. Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology

My research interests include the clinical study and treatment of pancreatic cancer.


Sheng Luo

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Kyle Walsh

Associate Professor in Neurosurgery

Dr. Walsh is Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Pathology, Director of the Division of Neuro-epidemiology, and a Senior Fellow in the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. He leads Duke’s Neuro-epidemiology Lab, which integrates bench science with statistical methods to study the neurobiology of glial senescence and gliomagenesis. This research interrogates human genomic and epigenomic profiles to identify both heritable and modifiable factors that contribute to neurologic and physical decline, applying these approaches to studying the shared neurobiology of cognition, glial senescence, and gliomagenesis. The lab has a long history studying telomere maintenance in pre-malignant cells and its role in the development of cancer, most notably glioblastoma.

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