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Endocrine. 2001 Jul;15(2):213-6.

Tandem CAG repeats of the androgen receptor gene and prostate cancer risk in black and white men.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


The most common malignancy in men worldwide is cancer of the prostate. Androgens play a direct role in normal and malignant growth of prostate cells via the androgen receptor (AR). This study analyzed the polymorphic CAG repeat sequence in exon 1 of the AR gene to determine if the number of repeats might be an indicator of prostate cancer risk or aggressive disease. DNA was extracted from blood samples of 20 black and 20 white men with well-documented prostate cancer and 40 healthy controls (20 blacks and 20 whites). PCR amplification was followed by gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. This region normally contains between 9 and 29 repeats. Patients and controls both had minor variations in the number of repeats, which ranged from 13 to 27 with 21 being the most frequent allele. Black controls and patients both had a mean of 20 +/- 3 repeats; in whites the mean was significantly lower in patients than controls (21 +/- 2 versus 23 +/- 2; p = 0.004). Combined black and white patients also had a lower number than the combined group of controls (20 +/- 3 versus 22 +/- 3; p = 0.02). Similarly, black and white patients with aggressive disease had a lower number than patients whose disease was more slowly progressive (19 +/- 2 versus 22 +/- 3; p = 0.02). We conclude that the small differences in the number of CAG repeats in both black and white patients do not appear to be a strong indicator of risk or aggressive disease but that this size polymorphism may be one of many genetic and environmental risk factors involved in prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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