Novel prostate cancer susceptibility gene SP6 predisposes patients to aggressive disease

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021 Dec;24(4):1158-1166. doi: 10.1038/s41391-021-00378-5. Epub 2021 May 19.


Prostate cancer (PrCa) is one of the most common cancers in men, but little is known about factors affecting its clinical outcomes. Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 170 germline susceptibility loci, but most of them are not associated with aggressive disease. We performed a genome-wide analysis of 185,478 SNPs in Finnish samples (2738 cases, 2400 controls) from the international Collaborative Oncological Gene-Environment Study (iCOGS) to find underlying PrCa risk variants. We identified a total of 21 common, low-penetrance susceptibility loci, including 10 novel variants independently associated with PrCa risk. Novel risk loci were located in the 8q24 (CASC8 rs16902147, OR 1.86, padj = 3.53 × 10-8 and rs58809953, OR 1.71, padj = 4.00 × 10-6; intergenic rs79012498, OR 1.81, padj = 4.26 × 10-8), 17q21 (SP6 rs2074187, OR 1.66, padj = 3.75 × 10-5), 11q13 (rs12795301, OR 1.42, padj = 2.89 × 10-5) and 8p21 (rs995432, OR 1.38, padj = 3.00 × 10-11) regions. Here, we describe SP6, a transcription factor gene, as a new, potentially high-risk gene for PrCa. The intronic variant rs2074187 in SP6 was associated not only with overall susceptibility to PrCa (OR 1.66) but also with a higher odds ratio for aggressive PrCa (OR 1.89) and lower odds for non-aggressive PrCa (OR 1.43). Furthermore, the new intergenic variant rs79012498 at 8q24 conferred risk for aggressive PrCa. Our findings highlighted the power of a population-stratified approach to identify novel, clinically actionable germline PrCa risk loci and strongly suggested SP6 as a new PrCa candidate gene that may be involved in the pathogenesis of PrCa.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Finland
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology


  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen