Research Papers:

The identification of two regulatory ESCC susceptibility genetic variants in the TERT-CLPTM1L loci

Liqing Zhou, Guobin Fu, Jinyu Wei, Juan Shi, Wenting Pan, Yanli Ren, Xiangyu Xiong, Jianhong Xia, Yue Shen, Hongliang Li and Ming Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:5495-5506. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6747

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Liqing Zhou1,2,*, Guobin Fu3,*, Jinyu Wei1, Juan Shi1, Wenting Pan1, Yanli Ren1, Xiangyu Xiong1, Jianhong Xia2, Yue Shen2, Hongliang Li2, Ming Yang1

1State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, Beijing Laboratory of Biomedical Materials, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China

2Department of Radiation Oncology, Huaian No. 2 Hospital, Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China

3Department of Oncology, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ming Yang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: TERT, CLPTM1L, polymorphism, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, susceptibility

Received: September 05, 2015    Accepted: December 07, 2015    Published: December 24, 2015


The chromosome 5p15.33 TERT-CLPTM1L region has been identified by genome-wide association studies as a susceptibility locus of multiple malignancies. However, the involvement of this locus in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) development is still largely unclear. We fine-mapped the TERT-CLPTM1L region through genotyping 15 haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (htSNPs) using a two stage case-control strategy. After analyzing 2098 ESCC patients and frequency-matched 2150 unaffected controls, we found that rs2853691, rs2736100 and rs451360 genetic polymorphisms are significantly associated with ESCC risk in Chinese (all P<0.05). Reporter gene assays indicated that the ESCC susceptibility SNP rs2736100 locating in a potential TERT intronic promoter has a genotype-specific effect on TERT expression. Similarly, the CLPTM1L rs451360 SNP also showed allelic impacts on gene expression. After measuring TERT and CLPTM1L expression in sixty-six pairs of esophageal cancer and normal tissues, we observed that the rs2736100 G risk allele carriers showed elevated oncogene TERT expression. Also, subjects with the rs451360 protective T allele had much lower oncogene CLPTM1L expression than those with G allele in tissue specimens. Results of these analyses underline the complexity of genetic regulation of telomere biology and further support the important role of telomerase in carcinogenesis. Our data also support the involvement of CLPTM1L in ESCC susceptibility.

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