Combined genetic assessment of transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway variants may predict breast cancer risk

Virginia G. Kaklamani, Lisa Baddi, Junjian Liu, Diana Rosman, Sharbani Phukan, Ciarán Bradley, Chris Hegarty, Bree McDaniel, Alfred Rademaker, Carole Oddoux, Harry Ostrer, Loren S. Michel, Helen Huang, Yu Chen, Habibul Ahsan, Kenneth Offit, Boris Pasche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


There is growing evidence that common variants of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway may modify breast cancer risk. In vitro studies have shown that some variants increase TGF-β signaling, whereas others have an opposite effect. We tested the hypothesis that a combined genetic assessment of two well-characterized variants may predict breast cancer risk. Consecutive patients (n = 660) with breast cancer from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York, NY) and healthy females (n = 880) from New York City were genotyped for the hypomorphic TGFBR1*6A allele and for the TGFB1 T29C variant that results in increased TGF-β circulating levels. Cases and controls were of similar ethnicity and geographic location. Thirty percent of cases were identified as high or low TGF-β signalers based on TGFB1 and TGFBR1 genotypes. There was a significantly higher proportion of high signalers (TGFBR1/TGFBR1 and TGFB1*CC) among controls (21.6%) than cases (15.7%; P = 0.003). The odds ratio [OR; 95% confidence interval (95% CI)] for individuals with the lowest expected TGF-β signaling level (TGFB1*TT or TGFB1*TC and TGFBR1*6A) was 1.69 (1.08-2.66) when compared with individuals with the highest expected TGF-signaling levels. Breast cancer risk incurred by low signalers was most pronounced among women after age 50 years (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.01-4.16). TGFBR1*6A was associated with a significantly increased risk for breast cancer (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.04-2.06), but the TGFB1*CC genotype was not associated with any appreciable risk (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.63-1.21). TGFBR1*6A effect was most pronounced among women diagnosed after age 50 years (OR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.25-3.87). This is the first study assessing the TGF-β signaling pathway through two common and functionally relevant TGFBR1 and TGFB1 variants. This approach may predict breast cancer risk in a large subset of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3454-3461
Number of pages8
JournalCancer research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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