Single Nucleotide Polymorphism rs17849071 G/T in the PIK3CA Gene Is Inversely Associated with Follicular Thyroid Cancer and PIK3CA Amplification

Jeffrey C. Xing, Ralph P. Tufano, Avaniyapuram Kannan Murugan, Dingxie Liu, Gary Wand, Paul W. Ladenson, Mingzhao Xing, Barry Trink

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13 Scopus citations


The proto-oncogene PIK3CA has been well studied for its activating mutations and genomic amplifications but not single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in thyroid cancer. We investigated SNP rs17849071 (minor allele G and major allele T) in PIK3CA in thyroid tumors in 503 subjects by PCR and sequencing of a region of intron 9 carrying this SNP. This SNP was found in both normal and thyroid tumor tissues as well as in different generations of a studied family, confirming it to be a germline genetic event in thyroid tumor patients. In comparison with normal subjects, a dramatically lower prevalence of the heterozygous genotype G/T at rs17849071 was found in patients with follicular thyroid cancer (FTC). Specifically, rs17849071G/T was found in 15% (18/117) normal subjects vs. 1.3% (1/77) FTC patients, with an odds ratio of 0.07 (95% CI 0.01-0.55; P = 0.001). This represents a 93% risk reduction for FTC with this SNP. In contrast, no difference was seen with benign thyroid neoplasms in which the prevalence of rs17849071G/T was 13.1% (17/130), with an odds ratio of 0.83 (95% CI 0.40-1.69; P = 0.72). There was a trend of lower prevalences of rs17849071G/T and odds ratio in other types of thyroid cancer without statistical significance. We also found an interesting inverse relationship of rs17849071G/T with PIK3CA amplification. With copy number ≥4 defined as copy gain, 2.9% (1/34) rs17849071G/T vs. 19.0% (67/352) rs17849071T/T cases displayed PIK3CA amplification (P = 0.01). Conversely, 1.5% (1/68) cases with PIK3CA amplification vs. 10.4% (33/318) cases without PIK3CA amplification harbored rs17849071G/T (P = 0.01). This provides an explanation for the reciprocal relationship of rs17849071G/T with FTC, since PIK3CA amplification is an important oncogenic mechanism in thyroid cancer, particularly FTC. Thus, the present study uncovers an interesting phenomenon that rs17849071G/T is protective against FTC possibly through preventing PIK3CA amplifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere49192
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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