The E-Cadherin −160 C/A Polymorphism and Prostate Cancer Risk in White and Black American Men

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We have previously reported that a C/A single nucleotide polymorphism at position −160 of the human E-cadherin gene promoter affects E-cadherin transcription. Although this single nucleotide polymorphism is associated with a number of human cancers, including prostate cancer, it is not known whether it has a role in race related prostate cancer. We hypothesized that allelic variation at this site may be associated with racial differences in the incidence and severity of prostate cancer.

Materials and Methods

We analyzed the genotypes of this single nucleotide polymorphism in a total of 135 prostate cancer samples from 86 white and 49 black American men, and in 237 samples from normal healthy controls, including 120 white and 117 black men, using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism technique.


Of normal controls black men had a higher frequency of the A allele and CA genotype than white men (26.5 and 39.3 vs 22.5 and 28.3, respectively). In white men A allele frequency was significantly higher in those with prostate cancer than in controls (p <0.05). White men carrying the A allele and AA genotype were at 1.99-fold (95% CI 1.29 to 3.08) and 3.04-fold (95% CI 1.26 to 7.32) higher risk for prostate cancer than carriers of the C allele and CC genotype. However, in black men the A allele was more frequent in controls than in patients with cancer and it was associated with a 2.4-fold decrease in prostate cancer risk (95% CI 0.22 to 0.81) compared to the C allele.


The A allele of the E-cadherin −160 single nucleotide polymorphism represents a prostate cancer risk factor in white but not in black men.

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