Identification of an enhancer region within the TP63/LEPREL1 locus containing genetic variants associated with bladder cancer risk
SourceAnalytical Cellular Pathology-Cellular Oncology, 41, 5, (2018), pp. 555-568
Article / Letter to editor
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Analytical Cellular Pathology-Cellular Oncology
SubjectRadboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 15: Urological cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
PURPOSE: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have led to the identification of a bladder cancer susceptibility variant (rs710521) in a non-coding intergenic region between the TP63 and LEPREL1 genes on chromosome 3q28, suggesting a role in the transcriptional regulation of these genes. In this study, we aimed to functionally characterize the 3q28 bladder cancer risk locus. METHODS: Fine-mapping was performed by focusing on the region surrounding rs710521, and variants were prioritized for further experiments using ENCODE regulatory data. The enhancer activity of the identified region was evaluated using dual-luciferase assays. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of the enhancer region was performed and the effect of this deletion on cell proliferation and gene expression levels was evaluated using CellTiter-Glo and RT-qPCR, respectively. RESULTS: Fine-mapping of the GWAS signal region led to the identification of twenty SNPs that showed a stronger association with bladder cancer risk than rs710521. Using publicly available data on regulatory elements and sequences, an enhancer region containing the bladder cancer risk variants was identified. Through reporter assays, we found that the presence of the enhancer region significantly increased DeltaNTP63 promoter activity in bladder cancer-derived cell lines. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of the enhancer region reduced the viability of bladder cancer cells by decreasing the expression of DeltaNTP63 and p63 target genes. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data show that bladder cancer risk-associated variants on chromosome 3q28 are located in an active enhancer region. Further characterization of the allele-specific activity of the identified enhancer and its target genes may lead to the identification of novel signaling pathways involved in bladder carcinogenesis.
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