A variant at 9p21.3 functionally implicates CDKN2B in paediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia aetiology.

Eric A Hungate, Sapana R Vora, Eric R Gamazon, Takaya Moriyama, Timothy Best, Imge Hulur, Younghee Lee, Tiffany-Jane Evans, Eva Ellinghaus, Martin Stanulla, Jéremie Rudant, Laurent Orsi, Jacqueline Clavel, Elizabeth Milne, Rodney J Scott, Ching-Hon Pui, Nancy J Cox, Mignon L Loh, Jun J Yang, Andrew D Skol, Kenan Onel
Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
Journal title long:
Nature communications
Impact factor:
Paediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (BCP-ALL) is the most common cancer of childhood, yet little is known about BCP-ALL predisposition. In this study, in 2,187 cases of European ancestry and 5,543 controls, we discover and replicate a locus indexed by rs77728904 at 9p21.3 associated with BCP-ALL susceptibility (Pcombined=3.32 × 10(-15), OR=1.72) and independent from rs3731217, the previously reported ALL-associated variant in this region. Of correlated SNPs tagged by this locus, only rs662463 is significant in African Americans, suggesting it is a plausible causative variant. Functional analysis shows that rs662463 is a cis-eQTL for CDKN2B, with the risk allele associated with lower expression, and suggests that rs662463 influences BCP-ALL risk by regulating CDKN2B expression through CEBPB signalling. Functional analysis of rs3731217 suggests it is associated with BCP-ALL by acting within a splicing regulatory element determining CDKN2A exon 3 usage (P=0.01). These findings provide new insights into the critical role of the CDKN2 locus in BCP-ALL aetiology.