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Original research
Variants in LRRC34 reveal distinct mechanisms for predisposition to papillary thyroid carcinoma
  1. Daniel Forrest Comiskey Jr.1,
  2. Huiling He1,
  3. Sandya Liyanarachchi1,
  4. Mehek S Sheikh1,
  5. Luke K Genutis1,
  6. Isabella V Hendrickson1,
  7. Lianbo Yu2,
  8. Pamela L Brock3,
  9. Albert de la Chapelle1
  1. 1Cancer Biology and Genetics, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Center for Biostatistics, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  3. 3Internal Medicine, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Albert de la Chapelle, Cancer Biology and Genetics, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; albert.delachapelle{at}


Background Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) demonstrates high heritability and a low somatic mutation burden relative to other cancers. Therefore, the genetic risk predisposing to PTC is likely due to a combination of low penetrance variants. A recent genome-wide association study revealed the association of PTC with a missense variant, rs6793295, at 3q26 in a gene called Leucine Repeat Rich Containing 34 (LRRC34).

Methods We report the mechanisms of PTC risk at 3q26 using a combination of overexpression, mass spectroscopy, knockdown, transcriptome profiling, migration assays and genetic analysis.

Results We observed differential binding of wild-type and missense LRRC34 to RANBP1. Overexpression of missense LRRC34 reduced RanGTP levels and increased apoptosis. We also identified a second linkage disequilibrium (LD) block upstream of LRRC34 containing regulatory variants with allele-specific expression. Transcriptome profiling of LRRC34 knockdown cells showed changes in genes involved with cellular movement. LRRC34 knockdown reduced the migration of thyroid cancer cell lines. Lastly, we assessed the relative contribution of PTC risk from each locus using haplotype analysis.

Conclusions Our study demonstrates two separate mechanisms, one in G protein signalling and the other in transcriptional control, dictating PTC risk at 3q26 using both biochemical and genetic techniques.

  • papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • LRRC34
  • RANBP1
  • 3q26
  • GWAS

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  • Contributors AdlC and HH proposed the project. DFCJ designed and performed most of the experiments. SL performed the LD and haplotype analysis. MSS performed the qPCR validation of microarray data. LKG isolated the tissues for genotyping and expression analysis. IVH performed genotyping of variants. LY performed microarray analysis. PLB provided the tissue samples. AdlC, HH and DFCJ wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved of the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by National Cancer Institute grants P30CA16058 and P50CA168505.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository.