Genome-wide association study of prostate-specific antigen levels identifies novel loci independent of prostate cancer

Thomas J. Hoffmann, Michael N. Passarelli, Rebecca E. Graff, Nima C. Emami, Lori C. Sakoda, Eric Jorgenson, Laurel A. Habel, Jun Shan, Dilrini K. Ranatunga, Charles P. Quesenberry, Chun R. Chao, Nirupa R. Ghai, David Aaronson, Joseph Presti, Tobias Nordström, Zhaoming Wang, Sonja I. Berndt, Stephen J. Chanock, Jonathan D. Mosley, Robert J. KleinMridu Middha, Hans Lilja, Olle Melander, Mark N. Kvale, Pui Yan Kwok, Catherine Schaefer, Neil Risch, Stephen K. Van Den Eeden, John S. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels have been used for detection and surveillance of prostate cancer (PCa). However, factors other than PCa - such as genetics - can impact PSA. Here we present findings from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of PSA in 28,503 Kaiser Permanente whites and 17,428 men from replication cohorts. We detect 40 genome-wide significant (P<5 × 10-8) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): 19 novel, 15 previously identified for PSA (14 of which were also PCa-associated), and 6 previously identified for PCa only. Further analysis incorporating PCa cases suggests that at least half of the 40 SNPs are PSA-associated independent of PCa. The 40 SNPs explain 9.5% of PSA variation in non-Hispanic whites, and the remaining GWAS SNPs explain an additional 31.7%; this percentage is higher in younger men, supporting the genetic basis of PSA levels. These findings provide important information about genetic markers for PSA that may improve PCa screening, thereby reducing over-diagnosis and over-treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14248
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jan 31 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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