Paired box 8 (PAX8) is a crucial nephric-lineage transcription factor, and its aberrant expression has been detected in various types of cancer including Müllerian carcinomas. PAX8 antisense RNA 1 (PAX8-AS1), a potential regulator of PAX8, contains specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may represent expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) for PAX8. In this study, we hypothesized that these eQTLs SNPs in PAX8-AS1 may influence the risk of cervical cancer. A case-control study of 1486 cervical cancer patients and 1536 cancer-free controls was conducted to identify the associations between two eQTLs SNPs (rs4848320 and rs1110839) and cervical cancer. Logistic regression analyses revealed that variant allele T of rs4848320 (recessive model: adjusted OR = 0.61, 95 % CI = 0.38-0.97, P = 0.027) and G of rs1110839 (additive model: adjusted OR = 0.88, 95 % CI = 0.79-0.99, P = 0.032) were associated with decreased risk of cervical cancer. Moreover, the haplotype containing variant alleles of the two SNPs significantly decreased the risk of cervical cancer compared to the most frequent haplotype (adjusted OR = 0.82, 95 % CI = 0.70-0.95, P = 0.009). These findings indicate that PAX8 eQTLs SNPs may serve as novel susceptibility markers for cervical cancer.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; LncRNA; PAX8; PAX8-AS1; Single nucleotide polymorphism.