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Cancer Causes Control. 2011 May;22(5):785-801. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9745-4. Epub 2011 Feb 27.

Genomics of the NF-κB signaling pathway: hypothesized role in ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



We sought to review evidence linking nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) to ovarian cancer and to identify genetic variants involved in NF-κB signaling.


PubMed was reviewed to inform on ovarian cancer biology and NF-κB signaling and to identify key genes. Public linkage disequilibrium (LD) data were analyzed to identify informative inherited variants (tagSNPs) using ldSelect.


We identified 319 key NF-κB genes including five NF-κB subunits, 167 activating genes, and 55 inhibiting genes. We found that the 1000 Genomes Project was the most informative LD source for most genes (92.8%), and we identified 13,027 LD bins (r (2) ≥ 0.9, minor allele frequency ≥ 0.05) and 1,018 putative-functional variants worthy of investigation. We also report that reliance on a commonly used genome-wide SNP array and genotype imputation with HapMap Phase II data provides data on only 74% of the common inherited NF-κB SNPs of interest.


Compelling evidence suggests that NF-κB plays a critical role in ovarian cancer, yet inherited variation in these genes has not been thoroughly assessed in relation to disease risk or outcome. We present a collection of variants in key genes and suggest creation of a custom genotyping array as an optimal approach.

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