Gene of the Month – June: GP2

GP2 gene variants may be associated with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer. This is suggested by the results of a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies published in Nature Communications. Scientists from Japan included the genome data of more than 2,000 pancreatic cancer patients and more than 32,000 healthy control individuals of East Asian ancestry in their analysis to discover novel susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer. They found three loci of genome-wide significance. The lead single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is a non-synonymous variant in the GP2 gene, which codes for the pancreatic zymogen granule membrane protein. GP2 is a membrane protein that is secreted from the zymogen granules of the pancreas, but its precise function is largely unknown. In their functional experiments, the researchers showed that the identified GP2 variant has an impact on KRAS activity. Interestingly, mutations in the KRAS gene are among the most common genetic variants found in pancreatic cancer.

Lin Y, Nakatochi M, Hosono Y, et al. Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies GP2 gene risk variants for pancreatic cancer. Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):3175.

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