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Title: Identification and functional analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms that affect human cancer
Author: Grochola, Lukasz Filip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 1621
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Aims: The p53 regulatory network is crucial in directing the suppression of cancer formation and mediating the response to commonly used cancer therapies. Functional genetic variants in the genes comprising this network could help identify individuals at greater risk for cancer and patients with poorer responses to therapies, but few such variants have been identified as yet. Methods: We first develop and apply three different screens that utilize known characteristics of functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the p53 network to search for variants that associate with allelic differences in (i) recent natural selection, (ii) chemosensitivity profiles, and (iii) the gender- and age- dependent incidence of soft-tissue sarcoma. Secondly, we study and explore the functional mechanisms associated with the identified variants. Results: We identify SNPs in the PPP2R5E, CD44, YWHAQ and ESR1 genes that associate with allelic differences in the age of tumour diagnosis (up to 32.5 years, p=0.031), cancer risk (up to 8.1 odds ratio, p=0.004) and overall survival (up to 2.85 relative risk, p=0.011) in sarcomas, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, and exhibit allelic differences in the cellular responses to cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents (up to 5.4-fold, p=5.6x10-47). Lastly, we identify candidate causal SNPs in those genes and describe the regulatory mechanisms by which they might affect human cancer. Conclusions: Together, our work suggests that the inherited genetics of the p53 pathway have a great potential to further define populations in their abilities to react to stress, suppress tumor formation and respond to therapies.
Supervisor: Bond, Gareth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biology ; Life Sciences ; Genetics (life sciences) ; Medical sciences ; single nucleotide polymorphisms ; snp ; p53 pathway