Variants in the HEPSIN gene are associated with prostate cancer in men of European origin
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There is considerable evidence that genetic factors are involved in prostate cancer susceptibility. We have studied the association of 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HEPSIN gene (HPN) with prostate cancer in men of European ancestry. HPN is a likely candidate in prostate cancer susceptibility, as it encodes a transmembrane cell surface serum protease, which is overexpressed in prostate cancer; HPN is also located on 19q11–q13.2, where linkage is found with prostate cancer susceptibility. In this case-control association study (590 men with histologically verified prostate cancer and 576 unrelated controls, all of European descent), we find significant allele frequency differences between cases and controls at five SNPs that are located contiguously within the gene. A major 11-locus haplotype is significantly associated, which provides further support that HPN is a potentially important candidate gene involved in prostate cancer susceptibility. Association of one of the SNPs with Gleason score is also suggestive of a plausible role of HPN in tumor aggressiveness.
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