The E-cadherin gene (CDH1) has been proposed as a prostate cancer (PC) susceptibility gene in several studies. Aberrant protein expression has been related to prognosis and progression in PC. In addition, a functional promoter SNP (rs16260) has been found to associate with PC risk. We performed a comprehensive genetic analysis of CDH1 by using the method of haplotype tagged SNPs in a large Swedish population-based case-control study consisting of 801 controls and 1,636 cases. In addition, Swedish PC families comprising a total of 157 cases sampled for DNA were analyzed for selected SNPs. Seven SNPs, including the promoter SNP rs16260, that captured over 96% of CDH1 haplotype variation were selected as haplotype tagging SNPs and analyzed for associated PC risk. We observed significant confirmation of rs16260 (P=0.003) for cases with a positive family history of PC (FH+) both in an independent case-control population and in PC families. In addition, a common haplotype (HapB, 25%) including the variant allele of rs16260 was associated (P=0.004) with PC risk among FH+ cases. The promoter SNP rs16260 as well as HapB were significantly transmitted to affected offspring in PC families. We report strong confirmation of the association between PC risk in FH+ cases and a functional CDH1 promoter SNP in an independent population. In conjunction with the biological importance of CDH1 our findings encourage further evaluation of genetic variation in CDH1 in relation to PC etiology. Due to the difficulties in replication of genetic association studies, this finding is unusual and novel.
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