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Genetic variants of DOCK2, EPHB1 and VAV2 in the natural killer cell-related pathway are associated with non-small cell lung cancer survival.
Pubmed ID
34094683 (View this publication on the PubMed website)
Am J Cancer Res. 2021; Volume 11 (Issue 5): Pages 2264-2277
Du H, Liu L, Liu H, Luo S, Patz EF, Glass C, Su L, Du M, Christiani DC, Wei Q
  • Department of Thoracic Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Shanghai 200025, P. R. China.
  • Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710, USA.
  • Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC 27710, USA.
  • Departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Although natural killer (NK) cells are a known major player in anti-tumor immunity, the effect of genetic variation in NK-associated genes on survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains unknown. Here, in 1,185 with NSCLC cases of a discovery dataset, we evaluated associations of 28,219 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 276 NK-associated genes with their survival. These patients were from the reported genome-wide association study (GWAS) from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. We further validated the findings in an additional 984 cases from the Harvard Lung Cancer Susceptibility (HLCS) Study. We identified three SNPs (i.e., DOCK2 rs261083 G>C, VAV2 rs2519996 C>T and EPHB1 rs36215 A>G) to be independently associated with overall survival (OS) in NSCLC cases with adjusted hazards ratios (HRs) of 1.16 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.07-1.26, P = 3.34×10-4), 1.28 (1.12-1.47, P = 4.57×10-4) and 0.75 (0.67-0.83, P = 1.50×10-7), respectively. Additional joint assessment of the unfavorable genotypes of the three SNPs showed significant associations with OS and disease-specific survival of NSCLC cases in the PLCO dataset (P trend<0.0001 and <0.0001, respectively). Moreover, the survival-associated DOCK2 rs261083 C allele had a significant correlation with reduced DOCK2 transcript levels in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), while the rs36215 G allele was significantly correlated with reduced EPHB1 transcript levels in lymphoblastoid cell lines in the 1000 Genomes Project. These results revealed that DOCK2 and EPHB1 genetic variants may be prognostic biomarkers of NSCLC survival, likely via transcription regulation of respective genes.

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