Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Constitutively Decreased Transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor 1 (TGFBR1) Signaling Modifies Colorectal Cancer Predisposition
by Pennison, Michael James, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2015, 162; 3741319
Abstract (Summary)

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Twin cohort studies indicate that inherited susceptibility accounts for approximately 35% of all CRC cases, but only 5-6% of CRC cases can be attributed to known functional mutations. We were the first to identify a germline mutation in Transforming Growth Factor Beta Receptor 1 (TGFBR1) that is also somatically acquired in tumors, a 9 bp in frame deletion within exon 1 (rs11466445), which results in a receptor with decreased TGF-β signaling properties. The observed association between this hypomorphic variant and cancer risk led us to hypothesize that constitutively decreased TGF-β signaling may contribute to the development of CRC.

In this dissertation, we developed a novel mouse model of Tgfbr1 haploinsufficiency (Tgfbr1+/−) and found that Tgfbr1+/− mice were twice as likely as Tgfbr1+/+ mice to develop CRC. We subsequently identified two human haplotypes associated with constitutively decreased TGFBR1 expression and CRC risk and found that decreased TGFBR1 expression is strongly associated with three SNPs: rs7034462, rs11466445 and rs11568785. Further examination of TGFBR1 haplotype tagging SNPs suggests that the TGFBR1 rs7034462-TT is a novel moderate penetrance risk genotype, which has high penetrance among African Americans, the ethnic group with the highest risk for CRC. Our results provide strong support for the novel notion that rs7034462-TT is a potentially clinically relevant CRC susceptibility genotype that may identify individuals at high risk of dying from CRC.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pasche, Boris C.
Commitee: Miller, Lance, Varga, John, Yang, Guang-Yu
School: Northwestern University
Department: Integrated Graduate Program in the Life Sciences
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Molecular biology, Genetics, Cellular biology
Keywords: Biomarker, Colorectal cancer, Genetic association, SMAD, Susceptibility, TGF-beta
Publication Number: 3741319
ISBN: 9781339335841
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