Research Papers:

A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the 3′-UTR region of the adipocyte fatty acid binding protein 4 gene is associated with prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer

Wenmiao Wang _, Peng Yuan, Dianke Yu, Feng Du, Anjie Zhu, Qing Li, Pin Zhang, Dongxin Lin and Binghe Xu

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:18984-18998. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7920

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Wenmiao Wang1,2, Peng Yuan1, Dianke Yu3, Feng Du1, Anjie Zhu1, Qing Li1, Pin Zhang1, Dongxin Lin3, Binghe Xu1

1Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Institute and Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China

2Phase I Clinical Trial Center, Beijing Shijitan Hospital, Capital Medical University, The 9th Clinical College, Beijing, P.R. China

3Department of Etiology and Carcinogenesis, Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Peng Yuan, e-mail: yuanpeng01@hotmail.com

Binghe Xu, e-mail: bhxu@hotmail.com

Keywords: triple-negative breast cancer, FABP4, genetic variant, 3′-untranslated regions, prognosis

Received: July 13, 2015     Accepted: January 29, 2016     Published: March 4, 2016


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer with poor prognosis and high heterogeneity. The aim of this study was to screen patients for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the prognosis of TNBC. Database-derived SNPs (NextBio, Ensembl, NCBI and MirSNP) located in the 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTRs) of genes that are differentially expressed in breast cancer were selected. The possible associations between 111 SNPs and progression risk among 323 TNBC patients were investigated using a two-step case-control study with a discovery cohort (n=162) and a validation cohort (n=161). We identified the rs1054135 SNP in the adipocyte fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) gene as a predictor of TNBC recurrence. The G allele of rs1054135 was associated with a reduced risk of disease progression as well as a prolonged disease-free survival time (DFS), with a hazard ratio (HR) for recurrence in the combined sample of 0.269 [95%CI: 0.098−0.735;P=0.001]. Notably, for individuals having the rs1054135 SNP with the AA/AG genotype, the magnitude of increased tumour recurrence risk for overweight patients (BMI≥25kg/m2) was significantly elevated (HR2.53; 95%CI: 1.06–6.03). Immunohistochemical staining of adipocytes adjacent to TNBC tissues showed that the expression level of FABP4 was statistically significantly lower in patients with the rs1054135-GG genotype and those in the disease-free group (P=0.0004 and P=0.0091, respectively). These results suggested that the expression of a lipid metabolism-related gene and an important SNP in the 3′-UTR of FABP4 are associated with TNBC prognosis, which may aid in the screening of high-risk patients with TNBC recurrence and the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents.

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