Association between SHBG Asp327Asn (rs6259) polymorphism and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of 10,454 cases and 13,111 controls

Mol Biol Rep. 2012 Aug;39(8):8307-14. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-1680-2. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a plasma glycoprotein that plays an important role in breast cancer pathophysiology and risk definition, since it regulates the bioavailable fraction of circulating estradiol. Epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between SHBG Asp327Asn polymorphism and breast cancer risk in diverse populations. However, the results remain conflicting rather than conclusive. This meta-analysis of literatures was performed to derive a more precise estimation of the relationship. A total of 10 studies were identified for the meta-analysis, including 10,454 cases and 13,111 controls for SHBG Asp327Asn polymorphism. When all studies were pooled into the meta-analysis, there was no evidence for significant association between SHBG Asp327Asn polymorphism and breast cancer risk (for Asn/Asn vs. Asp/Asp: OR = 1.20, 95 % CI = 0.94-1.55; for Asp/Asn vs. Asp/Asp: OR = 0.94, 95 % CI = 0.87-1.01; for dominant model: OR = 0.95, 95 % CI = 0.90-1.02; for recessive model: OR = 1.22, 95 % CI = 0.95-1.57). In the subgroup analyses by ethnicity, menopausal status, and source of controls, no significant associations were found in all genetic models. Interestingly, further analyses stratified by menopausal status in different ethnicities revealed that this polymorphism might provide protective effects against breast cancer risk in postmenopausal Asian women (for dominant model: OR = 0.83, 95 % CI = 0.70-0.97). Sensitivity analyses were performed by sequential removal of individual studies and cumulative statistics have showed combined ORs were not materially altered by any individual study under all comparisons. In summary, this meta-analysis suggests that SHBG Asp327Asn polymorphism is not associated with breast cancer risk overall, while it might be an important genetic susceptibility factor in postmenopausal Asian women for developing breast cancer. Larger and well-designed studies are warranted to confirm our findings in the future.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Publication Bias
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / genetics*


  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin