Functional analysis of the 1p34.3 risk locus implicates GNL2 in high-grade serous ovarian cancer

Koji Nakamura, Brett M. Reid, Ann Chen, Zhihua Chen, Ellen L. Goode, Jennifer B. Permuth, Jamie K. Teer, Jonathan Tyrer, Xiaoqing Yu, Peter A. Kanetsky, Paul D. Pharoah, Simon A. Gayther, Thomas A. Sellers, Kate Lawrenson, Florian A. Karreth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) risk locus at chromosome 1p34.3 resides within a frequently amplified genomic region signifying the presence of an oncogene. Here, we integrate in silico variant-to-function analysis with functional studies to characterize the oncogenic potential of candidate genes in the 1p34.3 locus. Fine mapping of genome-wide association statistics identified candidate causal SNPs local to H3K27ac-demarcated enhancer regions that exhibit allele-specific binding for CTCF in HGSOC and normal fallopian tube secretory epithelium cells (FTSECs). SNP risk associations colocalized with eQTL for six genes (DNALI1, GNL2, RSPO1, SNIP1, MEAF6, and LINC01137) that are more highly expressed in carriers of the risk allele, and three (DNALI1, GNL2, and RSPO1) were upregulated in HGSOC compared to normal ovarian surface epithelium cells and/or FTSECs. Increased expression of GNL2 and MEAF6 was associated with shorter survival in HGSOC with 1p34.3 amplifications. Despite its activation of β-catenin signaling, RSPO1 overexpression exerted no effects on proliferation or colony formation in our study of ovarian cancer and FTSECs. Instead, GNL2, MEAF6, and SNIP1 silencing impaired in vitro ovarian cancer cell growth. Additionally, GNL2 silencing diminished xenograft tumor formation, whereas overexpression stimulated proliferation and colony formation in FTSECs. GNL2 influences 60S ribosomal subunit maturation and global protein synthesis in ovarian cancer and FTSECs, providing a potential mechanism of how GNL2 upregulation might promote ovarian cancer development and mediate genetic susceptibility of HGSOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-135
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 6 2022


  • ChIP sequencing
  • GWAS
  • allele-specific binding
  • eQTL
  • post-GWAS
  • ribosome biogenesis
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional analysis of the 1p34.3 risk locus implicates GNL2 in high-grade serous ovarian cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this