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Genetic variation as a long-distance modulator of RAD21 expression in humans


Somatic mutations and changes in expression of RAD21 are common in many types of cancer. Moreover, sub-optimal levels of RAD21 expression in early development can result in cohesinopathies. Altered RAD21 levels can result directly from mutations in the RAD21 gene. However, whether DNA variants outside of the RAD21 gene could control its expression and thereby contribute to cancer and developmental disease is unknown. In this study, we searched for genomic variants that modify RAD21expression to determine their potential to contribute to development or cancer by RAD21 dysregulation. We searched 42,953,834 genomic variants for a spatial-eQTL association with the transcription of RAD21. We identified 123 significant associations (FDR < 0.05), which are local (cis) or long-distance (trans) regulators of RAD21 expression. The 123 variants co-regulate a further seven genes (AARD, AKAP11, GRID1, KCNIP4, RCN1, TRIOBP, and USP32), enriched for having Sp2 transcription factor binding sites in their promoter regions. The Sp2 transcription factor and six of the seven genes had previously been associated with cancer onset, progression, and metastasis. Our results suggest that genome-wide variation in non-coding regions impacts on RAD21 transcript levels in addition to other genes, which then could impact on oncogenesis and the process of ubiquitination. This identification of distant co-regulation of oncogenes represents a strategy for discovery of novel genetic regions influencing cancer onset and a potential for diagnostics.

Type Journal
ISBN 2045-2322 (Electronic) 2045-2322 (Linking)
Authors Schierding, W.; Horsfield, J. A.; O'Sullivan, J.
Publisher Name Scientific Reports
Published Date 2022-07-29
Published Volume 12
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 13035
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-15081-1
URL link to publisher's version