Discovery of common variants associated with low TSH levels and thyroid cancer risk

Julius Gudmundsson*, Patrick Sulem, Daniel F. Gudbjartsson, Jon G. Jonasson, Gisli Masson, Huiling He, Aslaug Jonasdottir, Asgeir Sigurdsson, Simon N. Stacey, Hrefna Johannsdottir, Hafdis Th Helgadottir, Wei Li, Rebecca Nagy, Matthew D. Ringel, Richard T. Kloos, Marieke C.H. De Visser, Theo S. Plantinga, Martin Den Heijer, Esperanza Aguillo, Angeles PanaderoEnrique Prats, Almudena Garcia-Castaao, Ana De Juan, Fernando Rivera, G. Bragi Walters, Hjordis Bjarnason, Laufey Tryggvadottir, Gudmundur I. Eyjolfsson, Unnur S. Bjornsdottir, Hilma Holm, Isleifur Olafsson, Kristleifur Kristjansson, Hoskuldur Kristvinsson, Olafur T Magnusson, Gudmar Thorleifsson, Jeffrey R. Gulcher, Augustine Kong, Lambertus Alm Kiemeney, Thorvaldur Jonsson, Hannes Hjartarson, Jose I. Mayordomo, Romana T. Netea-Maier, Albert De La Chapelle, Jon Hrafnkelsson, Unnur Thorsteinsdottir, Thorunn Rafnar, Kari Stefansson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


To search for sequence variants conferring risk of nonmedullary thyroid cancer, we focused our analysis on 22 SNPs with a P < 5- 10 g 8 in a genome-wide association study on levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in 27,758 Icelanders. Of those, rs965513 has previously been shown to associate with thyroid cancer. The remaining 21 SNPs were genotyped in 561 Icelandic individuals with thyroid cancer (cases) and up to 40,013 controls. Variants suggestively associated with thyroid cancer (P < 0.05) were genotyped in an additional 595 non-Icelandic cases and 2,604 controls. After combining the results, three variants were shown to associate with thyroid cancer: rs966423 on 2q35 (OR = 1.34; P combined = 1.3 - 10 g 9), rs2439302 on 8p12 (OR = 1.36; P combined = 2.0- 10 g 9) and rs116909374 on 14q13.3 (OR = 2.09; P combined = 4.6 - 10 g 11), a region previously reported to contain an uncorrelated variant conferring risk of thyroid cancer. A strong association (P = 9.1 - 10 g 91) was observed between rs2439302 on 8p12 and expression of NRG1, which encodes the signaling protein neuregulin 1, in blood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the affected individuals whose contribution made this work possible. This project was funded in part by US National Institutes of Health contract numbers CA16058 and CA124570.


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