Circulating androgen levels are often used as indicators of physiological or pathological conditions. More than half of the variance for circulating androgen levels is thought to be genetically influenced. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) has identified two loci, SHBG at 17p13 and FAM9B at Xp22, for serum testosterone (T) levels; however, these explain only a small fraction of inter-individual variability. To identify additional genetic determinants of androgen levels, a GWAS of baseline serum T and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels was conducted in 3225 men of European ancestry from the REduction by DUtasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) study. Cross-validation was used to confirm the observed associations between the drug (n = 1581) and placebo (n = 1644) groups of REDUCE. In addition to confirming the associations of two known loci with serum T levels (rs727428 in SHBG: P = 1.26 × 10-12; rs5934505 in FAM9B: P = 1.61 × 10-8), we identified a new locus, JMJD1C at 10q21 that was associated with serum T levels at a genome-wide significance level (rs10822184: P = 1.12 × 10-8). We also observed that the SHBG locus was associated with serum DHT levels (rs727428: P = 1.47 × 10-11). Moreover, two additional variants in SHBG [rs72829446, in strong linkage equilibrium with the missense variant D356N (rs6259), and rs1799941] were also independently associated with circulating androgen levels in a statistical scale. These three loci (JMJD1C, SHBG and FAM9B) were estimated to account for ~5.3 and 4.1% of the variance of serum T and DHT levels. Our findings may provide new insights into the regulation of circulating androgens and potential targets for androgen-based therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology