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The prostate cancer risk variant rs55958994 regulates multiple gene expression through extreme long-range chromatin interaction to control tumor progression

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Science Advances  17 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaaw6710
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw6710


Genome-wide association studies identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs55958994 as a significant variant associated with increased susceptibility to prostate cancer. However, the mechanisms by which this SNP mediates increased risk to cancer are still unknown. In this study, we show that this variant is located in an enhancer active in prostate cancer cells. Deletion of this enhancer from prostate tumor cells resulted in decreased tumor initiation, tumor growth, and invasive migration, as well as a loss of stem-like cells. Using a combination of capture chromosome conformation capture (Capture-C) and RNA sequencing, we identified genes on the same and different chromosomes as targets regulated by the enhancer. Furthermore, we show that expression of individual candidate target genes in an enhancer-deleted cell line rescued different aspects of tumorigenesis. Our data suggest that the rs55958994-associated enhancer affects prostate cancer progression by influencing expression of multiple genes via long-range chromatin interactions.

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