Cervical cancer is a leading women cancer globally with respect to both incidence and mortality. Its increased risk has been linked with HPV infection and genetic variations like single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Although, studies have been published which evaluates the effect of SNPs in a few candidate genes, however the role of number of regulatory SNPs (rSNPs) in cervical cancer is not available. As literature evidence has shown that non-coding rSNPs are related with increasing cervical cancer risk, we undertook this study to prioritize the important rSNPs and elucidate their role. A search was conducted in PubMed up to December 2020, which led to the identification of 263 articles and 969 SNPs in the non-coding region. These 969 SNPs were analysed through rSNPBase and RegulomeDB, leading to identification of 105 rSNPs. Afterwards, a regulatory module was constructed using protein-protein interaction data and a hub of highly interacting 23 target genes (corresponding to 34 rSNPs) was identified using MCODE. To further understand the mechanism of action of the 34 rSNPs, their transcription factor information with respect to cervical cancer was retrieved. To evaluate the pooled effect of these prioritized polymorphisms in cervical cancer patients, a meta-analysis was performed on 10,537 cases and 11,252 controls from 30 studies corresponding to 8 rSNPs. It led to identification of polymorphisms in IL6 (rs2069837), TGFB1 (rs1800469), TLR9 (rs187084) and MMP7 (rs11568818) which are significantly (p < 0.05) associated with increased cervical cancer risk at the population level. Overall, the study demonstrates that rSNPs targeting immune and inflammatory genes (IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB1, CCR5, CD40, TLR9, and MMP7) are associated with cervical cancer.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; Immune; Inflammation; Meta-analysis; Polymorphism; regulatory SNP.
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