Association of a common AGO1 variant with lung cancer risk: a two-stage case-control study

Mol Carcinog. 2010 Oct;49(10):913-21. doi: 10.1002/mc.20672.


Based on the important role of microRNA (miRNA) biosynthesis genes in carcinogenesis, we hypothesized that polymorphisms in the miRNA biosynthesis genes may modulate susceptibility to lung cancer. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a two-stage study to evaluate the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the miRNA biosynthesis genes and the risk of lung cancer. In stage 1 of the study, 24 SNPs in the 11 miRNA biosynthesis genes (DROSHA, DGCR8, RAN, XPO5, DICER, AGO1, AGO2, HIWI, GEMIN3, GEMIN4, and TRBP) were genotyped in 100 lung cancer patients and 100 healthy controls using a sequenome mass spectrometry-based genotyping assay. One promising SNP (AGO1 rs636832A > G) was selected for stage 2 of the study, and genotyped by a melting-curve analysis using fluorescence-labeled hybridization probes in an independent set of 552 cases and 552 controls. The AGO1 rs636832A > G exhibited highly consistent results between the two stages of the study. In combined analysis, the 636832A > G was associated with a significantly decreased risk of lung cancer in a dose-dependent manner (P(trend) = 6.0 × 10(-4)). Individuals with at least one rs636832G allele were at a significantly decreased risk of lung cancer compared with those with the AA genotype (adjusted odds ratio = 0.67, 95% confidence interval = 0.53-0.84, P = 4.0 × 10(-4)). This finding suggests that the AGO1 rs636832A > G might be a useful marker for determining the susceptibility to lung cancer and that the AGO1 gene might be involved in the development of lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factors / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Risk
  • Smoking


  • AGO1 protein, human
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factors