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Haplotype analysis of common vitamin D receptor variants and colon and rectal cancers

Inherited variants of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene may influence cancer risk by altering the effect of vitamin D on cell growth and homeostasis. Studies have examined genotypes for common VDR polymorphisms, including a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detected by Bsm1, a polyadenosine [poly(A)] repeat polymorphism, and a SNP detected by Fok1, as candidates for susceptibility to cancer, but most have not evaluated haplotypes for these markers. We investigated haplotypes for these polymorphisms in case-control studies of colon cancer (1,811 cases and 1,451 controls) and rectal cancer (905 cases and 679 controls). We used the expectation-maximization algorithm to estimate haplotypes for White, Hispanic, African-American, and Asian subjects, tested for differences in VDR haplotype distribution, and calculated odds ratios (OR) for association between haplotype and cancer. The distribution of haplotypes differed by race or ethnic group, but four common haplotypes accounted for the majority of alleles in all groups. VDR haplotype distributions differed between colon cancer cases and controls (P = 0.0004). The common haplotype bLF, containing Bsm1 b (Bsm1 restriction site present), poly(A) long (18-22 repeats), and Fok1 F (restriction site absent) was associated with increased risk of colon cancer, OR 1.15 (95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.28), as was the rare haplotype BLF, containing Bsm1 B (restriction site absent), poly(A) long, and Fok1 F (OR, 2.40; 95% confidence interval, 1.43-4.02). No case-control differences were detected for rectal cancer. In this analysis, haplotypes of the VDR influenced risk of colon cancer, but haplotype variables had only slightly better ability to explain case-control differences than genotype variables.

Authors: Sweeney C; Curtin K; Murtaugh MA; Caan BJ; Potter JD; Slattery ML

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 Apr;15(4):744-9.

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