Genetic variations in androgen metabolism genes and associations with prostate cancer in South African men
Background. In South Africa white men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer (PCa), coloured (mixed ancestry) men have an intermediate incidence, and low incidences are reported for black and Asian men. It has been suggested that ethnic differences in incidence and mortality of PCa are related to genetic variations in genes that regulate androgen metabolism. We investigated the role of genetic variants in the androgen metabolism genes and the probability of developing PCa in South African coloured and white men. Methods. Genotype and allele counts and frequencies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CYP3A5, CYP3A4 and CYP3A43 were assessed in coloured men (160 case individuals, 146 control individuals) and white men (121 case individuals, 141 control individuals). Results. A genetic association indicating an increased probability of developing PCa was observed with the G allele of the SNP rs2740574 in CYP3A4 in coloured men, the A allele of rs776746 (CYP3A5) and the G allele of rs2740574 (CYP3A4) in white men, and the G allele of rs2740574 and the C allele of rs501275 (CYP3A43) in the combined ethnic groups analysis. In addition, we identified allele combinations (termed haplotypes) with significantly higher frequencies in the PCa case individuals than in the control individuals. Conclusions. The findings support the role of variants in genes that regulate androgen metabolism and the probability of developing PCa. The study paves the way to identify other genetic associations in South African men, and to establish genetic profiles that could be used to determine disease progression and prognosis.