Genetic associations in the vitamin D receptor and colorectal cancer in African Americans and caucasians

Sonia S. Kupfer, Jeffrey R. Anderson, Anton E. Ludvik, Stanley Hooker, Andrew Skol, Rick A. Kittles, Temitope O. Keku, Robert S. Sandler, Clara Ruiz-Ponte, Sergi Castellvi-Bel, Antoni Castells, Angel Carracedo, Nathan A. Ellis

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14 Scopus citations


Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) and higher mortality from the disease. In the US, African Americans (AAs) have the highest CRC incidence and mortality and the lowest levels of vitamin D. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene have been previously associated with CRC, but few studies have included AAs. We studied 795 AA CRC cases and 985 AA controls from Chicago and North Carolina as well as 1324 Caucasian cases and 990 Caucasian controls from Chicago and Spain. We genotyped 54 tagSNPs in VDR (46586959 to 46521297 Mb) and tested for association adjusting for West African ancestry, age, gender, and multiple testing. Untyped markers were imputed using MACH1.0. We analyzed associations by gender and anatomic location in the whole study group as well as by vitamin D intake in the North Carolina AA group. In the joint analysis, none of the SNPs tested was significantly associated with CRC. For four previously tested restriction fragment length polymorphisms, only one (referred to as ApaI), tagged by the SNP rs79628898, had a nominally significant p-value in AAs; none of these polymorphisms were associated with CRC in Caucasians. In the North Carolina AAs, for whom we had vitamin D intake data, we found a significant association between an intronic SNP rs11574041 and vitamin D intake, which is evidence for a VDR gene-environment interaction in AAs. In summary, using a systematic tagSNP approach, we have not found evidence for significant associations between VDR and CRC in AAs or Caucasians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere26123
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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