Genome-wide association study identifies novel single nucleotide polymorphisms having age-specific effect on prostate-specific antigen levels

Prostate. 2020 Dec;80(16):1405-1412. doi: 10.1002/pros.24070. Epub 2020 Sep 11.


Background: Testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in blood are widely used and associated with prostate cancer risk and outcome. After puberty, PSA levels increase by age and multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been found to be associated with PSA levels. However, the relationship between the effects of SNPs and age on PSA remains unknown.

Methods: To test for SNP × age interaction, we conducted a genome-wide association study using 2394 men without prostate cancer diagnosis from Malmö, Sweden as a discovery set and 2137 men from the eMERGE study (USA) for validation. Linear regression was used to identify significant interactions between SNP and age (p < 1 × 10-4 for discovery, p < .05 for validation).

Results: The 15 SNPs from three different loci (8p11.22, 8p12, 3q25.31) are found to have age-specific effect on PSA levels. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) analysis shows that 12 SNPs from 3q25.31 locus affect the expression level of three genes: KCNAB1, SLC33A1, PLCH1.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that SNPs may have age-specific effect on PSA levels, which provides new direction to study genetic markers for PSA.

Keywords: GWAS; PSA; SNPs; eQTL; prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Kv1.3 Potassium Channel / genetics*
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • KCNAB1 protein, human
  • Kv1.3 Potassium Channel
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SLC33A1 protein, human
  • PLCH1 protein, human
  • Phosphoinositide Phospholipase C
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen