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Recent studies have implicated important roles for endolysosomal ion channels in cancer biology. We used UK Biobank data to characterise the relationships between genetic variants in two genes coding for endolysosomal ion channels-i.e. TPCN2 and P2RX4-and cancer in terms of the definition of tumour types, susceptibility, and prognosis. We investigated these relationships at both global and local levels with regard to specific types of cancer, including malignant neoplasms of the brain, breast, bronchus, lung, colon, lymphoid and haematopoietic systems, skin, ovary, prostate, rectum, thyroid gland, lip, oral cavity, pharynx, and urinary tract. Apart from rs3829241 (p value < 0.05), all the genetic variants were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. We included 468,436 subjects in the analysis and stratified them into two major cohorts: cancer-free controls (385,253) and cancer cases (83,183). For the first time, we report novel associations between genetic variants of TPCN2 and P2RX4 and cancer/cancer subtypes in the UK Biobank's population. Genotype GG in TPCN2 rs3750965 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of cancer and an increased risk of lip, oral cavity, and pharynx cancer and cancer recurrence in patients with prostate cancer, and genotypes GA/GG were associated with a significantly lower risk of developing various malignant neoplasms (involving melanoma, prostate, mesothelial, and soft tissues). rs35264875:TA was associated with a high risk of cancer at the global level, with subtypes of cancer at the local level (including breast, colon, prostate, and stated or presumed primary cancer of lymphoid, haematopoietic, and related tissue), and with a significantly low risk of cancer metastasis. rs72932540:GA was associated with a higher incidence of cancer/cancer subtypes (including breast, melanoma, and rectal cancer), and genotypes GA/GG were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. The P2RX4 rs25644 allele GG was associated with a high risk of prostate cancer, whereas it was associated with a low risk of cancer recurrence in patients with prostate cancer. Genotypes GA/GG in rs28360472 were associated with an increased risk of breast, mesothelial, and soft tissue cancers but with a decreased risk of colon cancer. We also provide insights into the pathophysiological contributions made by these significant polymorphisms to cancer/cancer subtypes and their effects on expression or channel activity. Further investigations of these genetic variants could help identify novel cancer biomarkers and facilitate the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. This would constitute a further step towards personalised cancer care.

Original publication




Journal article


NPJ Genom Med

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