Rare germline mutations of macrophage scavenger receptor 1 (MSR1) gene were reported to be associated with prostate cancer risk in families with hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) and in patients with non-HPC (Xu et al. 2002). To further evaluate the role of MSR1 in prostate cancer susceptibility, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, we studied five common variants of MSR1 in 301 patients with non-HPC who underwent prostate cancer treatment and in 250 control subjects who participated in prostate cancer-screening programs and had normal digital rectal examination and PSA levels (<4 ng/ml). Significantly different allele frequencies between case subjects and control subjects were observed for each of the five variants (P value range .01-.04). Haplotype analyses provided consistent findings, with a significant difference in the haplotype frequencies from a global score test (P = .01). Because the haplotype that is associated with the increased risk for prostate cancer did not harbor any of the known rare mutations, it appears that the observed association of common variants and prostate cancer risk are independent of the effect of the known rare mutations. These results consistently suggest that MSR1 may play an important role in prostate carcinogenesis.
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