Genetic variants in the folate metabolic pathway genes predict melanoma-specific survival.

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BACKGROUND:Folate metabolism plays an important role in DNA methylation and nucleic acid synthesis and thus may function as a regulatory factor in cancer development. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified some single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with cutaneous melanoma-specific survival (CMSS), but no SNPs were found in genes involved in the folate metabolic pathway. OBJECTIVE:To examine associations between SNPs in folate metabolic pathway genes and CMSS. METHODS:We comprehensively evaluated 2,645 (422 genotyped and 2,223 imputed) common SNPs in folate metabolic pathway genes from a published GWAS of 858 patients from The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and performed the validation in another GWAS of 409 patients from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, in which 95/858 (11.1%) and 48/409 (11.5%) patients died of cutaneous melanoma, respectively. RESULTS:We identified two independent SNPs (MTHFD1 rs1950902 G>A and ALPL rs10917006 C>T) to be associated with CMSS in both datasets, and their meta-analysis yielded an allelic hazards ratio of 1.75 (95% confidence interval=1.32-2.32, P=9.96×10-5 ) and 2.05 (1.39-3.01, P=2.84×10-4 ), respectively. The genotype-phenotype correlation analyses provided additional support for biologic plausibility of these two variants' roles in tumour progression, suggesting that variation in SNP-related mRNA expression levels is likely to be the mechanism underlying the observed associations with CMSS. CONCLUSION:Two possibly functional genetic variants, MTHFD1 rs1950902 and ALPL rs10917006, were likely to be independently or jointly associated with CMSS, which may add to personalized treatment in the future, once further validated.





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Dai, W, H Liu, Y Liu, X Xu, D Qian, S Luo, E Cho, D Zhu, et al. (2020). Genetic variants in the folate metabolic pathway genes predict melanoma-specific survival. The British journal of dermatology. 10.1111/bjd.18878 Retrieved from

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Sheng Luo

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Qingyi Wei

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Qingyi Wei, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Medicine, is Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences, Co-leader of CCPS and Co-leader of Epidemiology and Population Genomics (Focus Area 1). He is a professor of Medicine and an internationally recognized epidemiologist focused on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of head and neck cancers, lung cancer, and melanoma. His research focuses on biomarkers and genetic determinants for the DNA repair deficient phenotype and variations in cell death. He is Editor-in-Chief of the open access journal "Cancer Medicine" and Associate Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics.

Area of Expertise: Epidemiology

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