EM Azzato, AJX Lee, A Teschendorff, BAJ Ponder, P Pharoah, C Caldas, AT Maia
Br J Cancer
BACKGROUND: A synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs172378 (A>G, Gly->Gly) in the complement component C1QA has been proposed to be associated with distant breast cancer metastasis. We previously reported overexpression of this gene to be significantly associated with better prognosis in oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of rs172378 with expression of C1QA and breast cancer survival. METHODS: We analysed the gene expression pattern of rs172378 in normal and tumour tissue samples, and further explored its involvement in relation to mortality in 2270 women with breast cancer participating in Studies of Epidemiology and Risk factors in Cancer Heredity, a population-based case-control study. RESULTS: We found that although rs172378 showed differential allelic expression significantly different between normal (preferentially expressing the G allele) and tumour tissue samples (preferentially expressing the A allele), there was no significant difference in survival by rs172378 genotype (per allele hazard ratio (HR) 1.02, 95% CI: 0.88-1.19, P=0.78 for all-cause mortality; HR 1.03, 95% CI: 0.87-1.22, P=0.72 for breast-cancer-specific mortality). CONCLUSION: Our study results show that rs172378 is linked to a cis-regulatory element affecting gene expression and that allelic preferential expression is altered in tumour samples, but do not support an association between genetic variation in C1QA and breast cancer survival.