Background: Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) shows high heritability, yet efforts to find predisposing genes have been largely negative.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify susceptibility genes for PTC.
Methods: A genome-wide linkage analysis was performed in 38 families. Targeted association study and screening were performed in 2 large cohorts of PTC patients and controls. Candidate DNA variants were tested in functional studies.
Results: Linkage analysis and association studies identified the Slit-Robo Rho GTPase activating protein 1 gene (SRGAP1) in the linkage peak as a candidate gene. Two missense variants, Q149H and A275T, localized in the Fes/CIP4 homology domain segregated with the disease in 1 family each. One missense variant, R617C, located in the RhoGAP domain occurred in 1 family. Biochemical assays demonstrated that the ability to inactivate CDC42, a key function of SRGAP1, was severely impaired by the Q149H and R617C variants.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that SRGAP1 is a candidate gene in PTC susceptibility. SRGAP1 is likely a low-penetrant gene, possibly of a modifier type.