Common variants upstream of MLF1 at 3q25 and within CPZ at 4p16 associated with neuroblastoma

PLoS Genet. 2017 May 18;13(5):e1006787. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006787. eCollection 2017 May.


Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the developing sympathetic nervous system that most commonly presents in young children and accounts for approximately 12% of pediatric oncology deaths. Here, we report on a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in a discovery cohort or 2,101 cases and 4,202 controls of European ancestry. We identify two new association signals at 3q25 and 4p16 that replicated robustly in multiple independent cohorts comprising 1,163 cases and 4,396 controls (3q25: rs6441201 combined P = 1.2x10-11, Odds Ratio 1.23, 95% CI:1.16-1.31; 4p16: rs3796727 combined P = 1.26x10-12, Odds Ratio 1.30, 95% CI: 1.21-1.40). The 4p16 signal maps within the carboxypeptidase Z (CPZ) gene. The 3q25 signal resides within the arginine/serine-rich coiled-coil 1 (RSRC1) gene and upstream of the myeloid leukemia factor 1 (MLF1) gene. Increased expression of MLF1 was observed in neuroblastoma cells homozygous for the rs6441201 risk allele (P = 0.02), and significant growth inhibition was observed upon depletion of MLF1 (P < 0.0001) in neuroblastoma cells. Taken together, we show that common DNA variants within CPZ at 4p16 and upstream of MLF1 at 3q25 influence neuroblastoma susceptibility and MLF1 likely plays an important role in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Carboxypeptidases / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3 / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 4 / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Female
  • Gene Silencing
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MLF1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RSRC1 protein, human
  • CPZ protein, human
  • Carboxypeptidases