Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have discovered numerous genetic susceptibility loci including a cluster of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene family for esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC). However, the underlying mechanism has not fully been elucidated. In this study, we integrated the GWAS data, gene-drinking interaction, expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis and biochemical experiments to clarify the specific mechanism of the polymorphisms in ADH loci. By imputation and eQTL analysis, we identified rs1154402C>G in intron 1 of ADH5 substantially associated with the expression levels of ADH1A. Association analysis showed that the rs1154402[G] allele was significantly associated with ESCC risk in drinkers (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.20-1.73; P = 7.74 × 10-5) but not in nondrinkers (OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 0.93-1.37; P = .220). Furthermore, the ADH5 variant showed a significant interaction with drinking and the genetic variant near ALDH2 encoding the enzyme oxidizing acetaldehyde, a carcinogenic product resulted from alcohol oxidation catalyzed by ADHs. We demonstrated for the first time that rs1154402C>G change might create a silencer, repressing ADH1A transcription via long-range interaction with ADH1A promoter. These results suggest that genetic variant in ADH5 might confer alcohol drinkers susceptible to ESCC by down-regulation of ADH1A, which weakens alcohol catabolism.
Keywords: Alcohol drink; Esophageal cancer; Polymorphism; eQTL.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.