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Cancer Res. 2005 Dec 15;65(24):11771-8.

Sequence variants of Toll-like receptor 4 and susceptibility to prostate cancer.

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  • 1Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Chronic inflammation has been hypothesized to be a risk factor for prostate cancer. The Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) presents the bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which interacts with ligand-binding protein and CD14 (LPS receptor) and activates expression of inflammatory genes through nuclear factor-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. A previous case-control study found a modest association of a polymorphism in the TLR4 gene [11381G/C, GG versus GC/CC: odds ratio (OR), 1.26] with risk of prostate cancer. We assessed if sequence variants of TLR4 were associated with the risk of prostate cancer. In a nested case-control design within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we identified 700 participants with prostate cancer diagnosed after they had provided a blood specimen in 1993 and before January 2000. Controls were 700 age-matched men without prostate cancer who had had a prostate-specific antigen test after providing a blood specimen. We genotyped 16 common (>5%) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) discovered in a resequencing study spanning TLR4 to test for association between sequence variation in TLR4 and prostate cancer. Homozygosity for the variant alleles of eight SNPs was associated with a statistically significantly lower risk of prostate cancer (TLR4_1893, TLR4_2032, TLR4_2437, TLR4_7764, TLR4_11912, TLR4_16649, TLR4_17050, and TLR4_17923), but the TLR4_15844 polymorphism corresponding to 11381G/C was not associated with prostate cancer (GG versus CG/CC: OR, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-1.29). Six common haplotypes (cumulative frequency, 81%) were observed; the global test for association between haplotypes and prostate cancer was statistically significant (chi(2) = 14.8 on 6 degrees of freedom; P = 0.02). Two common haplotypes were statistically significantly associated with altered risk of prostate cancer. Inherited polymorphisms of the innate immune gene TLR4 are associated with risk of prostate cancer.

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