Genetic determinants of multiple myeloma risk within the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway

Alem A. Belachew, Xifeng Wu, Rashida Callender, Rosalie Waller, Robert Z. Orlowski, Celine M. Vachon, Nicola J. Camp, Elad Ziv, Michelle A.T. Hildebrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aberrant Wnt/beta-catenin pathway activation is implicated in Multiple Myeloma (MM) development, but little is known if genetic variants within this pathway contribute to MM susceptibility. Methods: We performed a discovery candidate pathway analysis in 269 non-Hispanic white MM cases and 272 controls focusing on 171 variants selected from 26 core genes within the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. Significant candidate variants (P < 0.05) were selected for validation in internal and external non-Hispanic white populations totaling 818 cases and 1209 controls. We also examined significant variants in non-Hispanic black and Hispanic case/control study populations to identify potential differences by race/ethnicity. Possible biological functions of candidate variants were predicted in silico. Results: Seven variants were significantly associated with MM risk in non-Hispanic whites in the discovery population, of which LRP6:rs7966410 (OR: 0.57; 95 % CI: 0.38–0.88; P = 9.90 × 10−3) and LRP6:rs7956971 (OR: 0.64; 95 % CI: 0.44–0.95; P = 0.027) remained significant in the internal and external populations. CSNK1D:rs9901910 replicated among all three racial/ethnic groups, with 2–6 fold increased risk of MM (OR: 2.40; 95 % CI: 1.67–3.45; P = 2.43 × 10−6 – non-Hispanic white; OR: 6.42; 95 % CI: 2.47–16.7; P = 3.14 × 10−4 – non-Hispanic black; OR: 4.31; 95 % CI: 1.83–10.1; P = 8.10 × 10−4 – Hispanic). BTRC:rs7916830 was associated with a significant 37 % and 24 % reduced risk of MM in the non-Hispanic white (95 % CI: 0.49–0.82; P = 5.60 × 10−4) and non-Hispanic Black (95 % CI: 0.60–0.97; P = 0.028) population, respectively. In silico tools predicted that these loci altered function through via gene regulation. Conclusion: We identified several variants within the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway associated with MM susceptibility. Findings of this study highlight the potential genetic role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in MM etiology among a diverse patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101972
JournalCancer Epidemiology
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Disparities
  • Genetic variation
  • Myeloma
  • Susceptibility
  • Wnt/beta-catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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