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American Association for Cancer Research, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 5(31), p. 1077-1089, 2022

DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.epi-21-1003



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Beyond GWAS of Colorectal Cancer: Evidence of Interaction with Alcohol Consumption and Putative Causal Variant for the 10q24.2 Region

Journal article published in 2022 by Kristina M. Jordahl ORCID, Anna Shcherbina ORCID, Andre E. Kim, Yu-Ru Su, Yi Lin, Jun Wang, Conghui Qu, Demetrius Albanes, Volker Arndt ORCID, James W. Baurley, Sonja I. Berndt, Stephanie A. Bien ORCID, D. Timothy Bishop ORCID, Emmanouil Bouras, Hermann Brenner ORCID and other authors.
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This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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Abstract Background: Currently known associations between common genetic variants and colorectal cancer explain less than half of its heritability of 25%. As alcohol consumption has a J-shape association with colorectal cancer risk, nondrinking and heavy drinking are both risk factors for colorectal cancer. Methods: Individual-level data was pooled from the Colon Cancer Family Registry, Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study, and Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium to compare nondrinkers (≤1 g/day) and heavy drinkers (>28 g/day) with light-to-moderate drinkers (1–28 g/day) in GxE analyses. To improve power, we implemented joint 2df and 3df tests and a novel two-step method that modifies the weighted hypothesis testing framework. We prioritized putative causal variants by predicting allelic effects using support vector machine models. Results: For nondrinking as compared with light-to-moderate drinking, the hybrid two-step approach identified 13 significant SNPs with pairwise r2 > 0.9 in the 10q24.2/COX15 region. When stratified by alcohol intake, the A allele of lead SNP rs2300985 has a dose–response increase in risk of colorectal cancer as compared with the G allele in light-to-moderate drinkers [OR for GA genotype = 1.11; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06–1.17; OR for AA genotype = 1.22; 95% CI, 1.14–1.31], but not in nondrinkers or heavy drinkers. Among the correlated candidate SNPs in the 10q24.2/COX15 region, rs1318920 was predicted to disrupt an HNF4 transcription factor binding motif. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the association with colorectal cancer in 10q24.2/COX15 observed in genome-wide association study is strongest in nondrinkers. We also identified rs1318920 as the putative causal regulatory variant for the region. Impact: The study identifies multifaceted evidence of a possible functional effect for rs1318920.