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The identification of trans-associations between prostate cancer GWAS SNPs and RNA expression differences in tumor-adjacent stroma


Here we tested the hypothesis that SNPs associated with prostate cancer risk, might differentially affect RNA expression in prostate cancer stroma. The most significant 35 SNP loci were selected from Genome Wide Association (GWA) studies of ~40,000 patients. We also selected 4030 transcripts previously associated with prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis. eQTL analysis was carried out by a modified BAYES method to analyze the associations between the risk variants and expressed transcripts jointly in a single model. We observed 47 significant associations between eight risk variants and the expression patterns of 46 genes. This is the first study to identify associations between multiple SNPs and multiple in trans gene expression differences in cancer stroma. Potentially, a combination of SNPs and associated expression differences in prostate stroma may increase the power of risk assessment for individuals, and for cancer progression.

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