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Cancer Biol Ther. 2005 Nov;4(11):1222-5. Epub 2005 Nov 11.

Polymorphism in the hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha gene may confer susceptibility to androgen-independent prostate cancer.

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Molecular Pharmacology Section, Medical Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) plays a major role in cancer progression. The role of this transcription factor in prostate cancer development and its transition to a metastatic and androgen refractory state remains to be elucidated. Previous reports have identified the existence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxygen-dependent degradation domain of the HIF-1alpha gene in renal cell carcinoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC). Studies in prostate cancer, however, are variable and limited in the number of cases assessed. Herein we further investigate these SNPs, specifically C1772T (which results in an amino acid change from proline 582 to serine) and G1790A (alanine 588 to threonine). The frequency of these polymorphisms was evaluated in a population of individuals with metastatic AIPC and compared to a set of healthy control subjects. The distribution of HIF-1alpha genotypes for C1772T in 196 AIPC patients was 161 C/C (82.1%), 29 C/T (14.8%), and 6 T/T (3.1%). The genotype distribution in 196 controls was 179 C/C (91.3%), 14 C/T (7.1%), and 3 T/T (1.5%). Our results demonstrate a significant difference in genotype distribution between AIPC patients and control subjects only for the C1772T polymorphism (p = 0.024). The association of the incidence of the polymorphism with overall survival was determined to be not statistically significant (p = 0.93) by the Mantel-Haenszel (log-rank) test. These results suggest that the C1772T polymorphism in HIF-1alpha may confer susceptibility to AIPC and contribute to the progression or metastasis of this disease.

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