, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 323-331
Date: 05 Jun 2006

An association between a common variant (G972R) in the IRS-1 gene and sex hormone levels in post-menopausal breast cancer survivors

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Abstract

Insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) is a key downstream signaling molecule common to both the insulin and IGF signaling pathways that can interact with the estrogen pathway to regulate breast cell growth. We investigated whether a putative functional variant for IRS-1 (G972R) influences circulating levels of sex hormones, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), C-peptide, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels among post-menopausal African-American and non-Hispanic white breast cancer patients enrolled in the Health, Eating, Activity, and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study. Circulating levels of sex hormones and growth factors can influence breast cancer recurrence and survival. Serum estrone, estradiol, testosterone, SHBG, IGF-1 and C-peptide were measured in 468 patients at 30+ months post diagnosis. Non-protein bound hormone levels (free estradiol, free testosterone) were calculated. In African-American patients, the IRS-1 variant was associated with increased serum levels of estrone (p=0.02), free estradiol (p=0.04), total testosterone (p=0.04), free testosterone (p=0.006) and decreased levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (p=0.02). No association was present for white patients. Our findings provide suggestive evidence that IRS-1 G972R variant may be associated with circulating levels of sex hormones and SHBG in African American breast cancer survivors.