Polymorphisms in microRNA target sites of forkhead box O genes are associated with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • Tan C
  • Liu S
  • Tan S
 et al. 
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The forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors play important roles in various cancer development including Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). In this study we conducted a hospital-based case control study including 1049 cases (HCC patients) and 1052 controls (non-tumor patients) to examine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within microRNA (miRNA) target sites of FOXO genes confer HCC susceptibility. A total of three miRNA target site SNPs in the 3' untranslated regions (UTR) of FOXO1 (rs17592236), FOXO3 (rs4946936) and FOXO4 (rs4503258) were analyzed. No statistically significant differences were found in genotype distribution for rs17592236, rs4946936, and rs4503258 between the HCC patient group and the tumor-free control group using single factor chi-square analysis (P>0.05). However, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the CT/TT genotype in rs17592236 was significantly associated with decreased risk of HCC development (P = 0.010, OR = 0.699, 95% CI: 0.526-0.927) as compared to the CC genotype in rs17592236. Additionally, a genetic interaction was found between rs17592236 and rs4503258 (P = 0.003, OR = 0.755, 95% CI: 0.628-0.908). Functional dual luciferase reporter assays verified that the rs17592236 SNP was a target site of human miRNA miR-137. Together, these results indicate that the rs17592236 polymorphism is associated with decreasing of HCC hereditary susceptibility likely through modulating the binding affinity of miR-137 to the 3'UTR in FOXO1 messenger RNA (mRNA). Further knowledge obtained from this study may provide important evidence for the prevention and targeted therapy of HCC.

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  • Chao Tan

  • Shun Liu

  • Shengkui Tan

  • Xiaoyun Zeng

  • Hongping Yu

  • Anhua Li

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