PloS one

Glioma Association and Balancing Selection of ZFPM2.

PMID 26207917


ZFPM2, encoding a zinc finger protein and abundantly expressed in the brain, uterus and smooth muscles, plays important roles in cardiac and gonadal development. Abnormal expression of ZFPM2 in ovarian tumors and neuroblastoma has been reported but hitherto its genetic association with cancer and effects on gliomas have not been studied. In the present study, the hexamer insertion-deletion polymorphism rs71305152, located within a large haplotype block spanning intron 1 to intron 3 of ZFPM2, was genotyped in Chinese cohorts of glioma (n = 350), non-glioma cancer (n = 354) and healthy control (n = 463) by direct sequencing and length polymorphism in gel electrophoresis, and ZFPM2 expression in glioma tissues (n = 69) of different grades was quantified by real-time RT-PCR. Moreover, potential natural selection pressure acting on the gene was investigated. Disease-association analysis showed that the overall genotype of rs71305152 was significantly associated with gliomas (P = 0.016), and the heterozygous genotype compared to the combined homozygous genotypes was less frequent in gliomas than in controls (P = 0.005) or non-glioma cancers (P = 0.020). ZFPM2 mRNA expression was negatively correlated with the grades of gliomas (P = 0.002), with higher expression levels in the low-grade gliomas. In the astrocytoma subtype, higher ZFPM2 expression was also correlated with the rs71305152 heterozygous genotype (P = 0.028). In addition, summary statistics tests gave highly positive values, demonstrating that the gene is under the influence of balancing selection. These findings suggest that ZFPM2 is a glioma susceptibility gene, its genotype and expression showing associations with incidence and severity, respectively. Moreover, the balancing selection acting on ZFPM2 may be related to the important roles it has to play in multiple organ development or associated disease etiology.