Genetic variation in genes of the fatty acid synthesis pathway and breast cancer risk
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Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is the major enzyme of lipogenesis. It catalyzes the NADPH-dependent condensation of acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA to produce palmitic acid. Transcription of the FAS gene is controlled synergistically by the transcription factors ChREBP (carbohydrate response element-binding protein), which is induced by glucose, and SREBP-1 (sterol response element-binding protein-1), which is stimulated by insulin through the PI3K/Akt signal transduction pathway. We investigated whether the genetic variability of the genes encoding for ChREBP, SREBP and FAS (respectively, MLXIPL, SREBF1 and FASN) is related to breast cancer risk and body-mass index (BMI) by studying 1,294 breast cancer cases and 2,452 controls from the European Prospective Investigation on Cancer (EPIC). We resequenced the FAS gene and combined information of SNPs found by resequencing and SNPs from public databases. Using a tagging approach and selecting 20 SNPs, we covered all the common genetic variation of these genes. In this study we were not able to find any statistically significant association between the SNPs in the FAS, ChREBP and SREPB-1 genes and an increased risk of breast cancer overall and by subgroups of age, menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use or BMI. On the other hand, we found that two SNPs in FASN were associated with BMI.
KeywordsFatty acid synthase Carbohydrate response element-binding protein Sterol response element-binding protein-1 Breast cancer Susceptibility to cancer Body-mass index
This study was supported by grant W81XWH-04-1-0271 by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. The EPIC study was funded by “Europe Against Cancer” Programme of the European Commission (SANCO); Ligue contre le Cancer (France); Société 3M (France); Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale; Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM); German Cancer Aid; German Cancer Research Center; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; Danish Cancer Society; Health Research Fund (FIS) of the Spanish Ministry of Health; the participating regional governments and institutions of Spain; Cancer Research UK; Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK; British Heart Foundation; Department of Health, UK; Food Standards Agency, UK; the Wellcome Trust, UK; Greek Ministry of Health; Greek Ministry of Education; Italian Association for Research on Cancer; Italian National Research Council; Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports; Dutch Ministry of Health; Dutch Prevention Funds; LK Research Funds; Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland); World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF); Swedish Cancer Society; Swedish Scientific Council; Regional Government of Skane, Sweden; Norwegian Cancer Society. The authors wish to thank Dr Alun Thomas (Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah) for providing assistance with the Java SnpScreen software.
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