Potential Functional Variants in SMC2 and TP53 in the AURORA Pathway Genes and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer.


The AURORA pathway participates in mitosis and cell division, and alterations in mitosis and cell division can lead to carcinogenesis. Therefore, genetic variants in the AURORA pathway genes may be associated with susceptibility to pancreatic cancer. To test this hypothesis, we used three large, publically available pancreatic cancer genome-wide association studies (GWASs) datasets (PanScan I, II/III and PanC4) to assess the associations of 7,168 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a set of 62 genes of this pathway with pancreatic cancer risk (8,477 cases and 6,946 controls of European ancestry). We identify 15 significant pancreatic cancer risk-associated SNPs in three genes (SMC2, ARHGEF7 and TP53) after correction for multiple comparisons by a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.20. Through further linkage disequilibrium analysis, SNP functional prediction and stepwise logistic regression analysis, we focused on three SNPs: rs3818626 in SMC2, rs79447092 in ARHGEF7 and rs9895829 in TP53. We found that these three SNPs were associated with pancreatic cancer risk [odds ratio (OR) = 1.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07-1.17 and P = 2.20E-06 for the rs3818626 C allele; OR = 0.76, CI = 0.66-0.88 and P = 1.46E-04 for the rs79447092 A allele; and OR = 0.82, CI = 0.74-0.91 and P = 1.51E-04 for the rs9895829 G allele]. Their joint effect as the number of protective genotypes (NPGs) also showed a significant association with pancreatic cancer risk (trend test P ≤ 0.001). Finally, we performed an eQTL analysis and found that rs3818626 and rs9895829 were significantly associated with SMC2 and TP53 mRNA expression levels in 373 lymphoblastoid cell lines, respectively. In conclusion, these three representative SNPs may be potentially susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer and warrant additional validation.





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Publication Info

Feng, Yun, Hongliang Liu, Bensong Duan, Zhensheng Liu, James Abbruzzese, Kyle M Walsh, Xuefeng Zhang, Qingyi Wei, et al. (2019). Potential Functional Variants in SMC2 and TP53 in the AURORA Pathway Genes and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer. Carcinogenesis. 10.1093/carcin/bgz029 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18494.

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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.


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.


Xuefeng Zhang

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology

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