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Accession IconSRP113639

Ancestry as a potential modifier of gene expression in breast tumors from Colombian women

Organism Icon Homo sapiens
Sample Icon 42 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina Genome Analyzer IIx

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Background: Differences in breast cancer outcomes according to race/ethnicity have been reported. Hispanic/Latino (H/L) populations are a genetically admixed and heterogeneous group, with variable fractions of European, Indigenous American and African ancestries. Some studies suggest that breast cancer-specific mortality is higher in U.S. Hispanic/Latinas compared to non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) even after adjustment for socioeconomic status and education. The molecular profile of breast cancer has been widely described in NHWs but equivalent knowledge is lacking in Hispanic/Latinas. We have previously reported that the most prevalent breast cancer intrinsic subtype in Colombian H/L women was Luminal B as defined by surrogate St. Gallen 2013 criteria. In this study we explored ancestry-associated differences in molecular profiles of Luminal B tumors among these highly admixed women. Methods: We performed whole-transcriptome RNA-seq analysis in 42 Luminal tumors (21 Luminal A and 21 Luminal B) from Colombian women. Genetic ancestry was estimated from a panel of 80 ancestry-informative markers (AIM). We categorized patients according to Luminal subtype and to the proportion of European and Indigenous American ancestry and performed differential expression analysis comparing Luminal B against Luminal A tumors according to the assigned ancestry groups. Results: We found 5 genes potentially modulated by genetic ancestry: ERBB2 (Fold Change = 2.367, padj < 0.01), GRB7 (Fold Change = 2.327, padj < 0.01), GSDMB (Fold Change = 1.723, padj < 0.01, MIEN1 (Fold Change = 2.195, padj < 0.01 and ONECUT2 (Fold Change = 2.204, padj < 0.01). In the replication set we found a statistical significant association between European ancestry fraction and the expression levels of ERBB2 (p = 0.02, B = 2.49) and ONECUT2 (p = 0.04, B = -4.87). We also observed statistical significant associations for ERBB2 expression with Indigenous American ancestry (p < 0.001, B = 3.82). This association was not biased by the distribution of HER2+ tumors among the groups analyzed. Conclusions: Our results suggest that genetic ancestry in Hispanic/Latina women might modify ERBB2 gene expression in Luminal tumors. Further analyses are needed to confirm these findings and explore their prognostic value. Overall design: RNA profile of 42 luminal breast cancer tumors (21 luminal A and 21 luminal B) from Colombian patients
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