JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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A polymorphism in Werner syndrome gene is associated with breast cancer susceptibility in Chinese women.

RecQ helicases play a central role in maintaining genome stability and may interact with some important cancer-related proteins such as BRCA1. Mutations of the human RecQ helicase genes WRN and BLM lead to rare autosomal recessive disorders, Werner and Bloom syndromes, which are associated with premature aging and cancer predisposition, including breast cancer. In this case-control study of 1,004 breast cancer cases and 1,008 controls, we tested the hypothesis that non-conservative amino acid exchanges in WRN (leu1074Phe), BLM (Met298Thr) and BRCA1 (Pro871Leu) are independently or jointly associated with the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. We found that the variant genotype of WRN Leu1074Phe was associated with a 1.36-fold significantly increased risk of breast cancer (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.06-1.74). Moreover, a significant gene-environment interaction was evident between WRN leu1074Phe and age at menarche (P (int) = 0.02). Subjects carrying Phe/Phe genotype and with earlier age at menarche had 3.58-fold increased risk of breast cancer (OR = 3.58, 95% CI = 2.54-5.05). However, we did not find the significant main effect of polymorphisms in BLM and BRCA1 and also no locus-locus interactions were identified between WRN, BLM and BRCA1. These findings indicate that WRN leu1074Phe variant may contribute to the susceptibility of breast cancer in Chinese women.

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