Common genetic variation in adiponectin, leptin, and leptin receptor and association with breast cancer subtypes

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Sep;129(2):593-606. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1517-z. Epub 2011 Apr 23.


Adipocytokines are produced by visceral fat, and levels may be associated with breast cancer risk. We investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in adipocytokine genes adiponectin (ADIPOQ), leptin (LEP), and the leptin receptor (LEPR) were associated with basal-like or luminal A breast cancer subtypes. 104 candidate and tag SNPs were genotyped in 1776 of 2022 controls and 1972 (200 basal-like, 679 luminal A) of 2311 cases from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study (CBCS), a population-based case-control study of whites and African Americans. Breast cancer molecular subtypes were determined by immunohistochemistry. Genotype odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Haplotype ORs and 95% CIs were estimated using Hapstat. Interactions with waist-hip ratio were evaluated using a multiplicative interaction term. Ancestry was estimated from 144 ancestry informative markers (AIMs), and included in models to control for population stratification. Candidate SNPs LEPR K109R (rs1137100) and LEPR Q223R (rs1137101) were positively associated with luminal A breast cancer, whereas ADIPOQ +45 T/G (rs2241766), ADIPOQ +276 G/T (rs1501299), and LEPR K656N (rs8129183) were not associated with either subtype. Few patterns were observed among tag SNPs, with the exception of 3 LEPR SNPs (rs17412175, rs9436746, and rs9436748) that were in moderate LD and inversely associated with basal-like breast cancer. However, no SNP associations were statistically significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Haplotypes in LEP and LEPR were associated with both basal-like and luminal A subtypes. There was no evidence of interaction with waist-hip ratio. Data suggest associations between LEPR candidate SNPs and luminal A breast cancer in the CBCS and LEPR intron 2 tag SNPs and basal-like breast cancer. Replication in additional studies where breast cancer subtypes have been defined is necessary to confirm these potential associations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leptin / genetics*
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • North Carolina
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Receptors, Leptin / genetics*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Young Adult


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • LEPR protein, human
  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Leptin