Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies ROBO2 as a Novel Susceptibility Gene for Anthracycline-Related Cardiomyopathy in Childhood Cancer Survivors.

Academic Article


  • PURPOSE: Interindividual variability in the dose-dependent association between anthracyclines and cardiomyopathy suggests a modifying role of genetic susceptibility. Few previous studies have examined gene-anthracycline interactions. We addressed this gap using the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (discovery) and the Children's Oncology Group (COG) study COG-ALTE03N1 (replication). METHODS: A genome-wide association study (Illumina HumanOmni5Exome Array) in 1,866 anthracycline-exposed Childhood Cancer Survivor Study participants (126 with heart failure) was used to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with either main or gene-environment interaction effect on anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy that surpassed a prespecified genome-wide threshold for statistical significance. We attempted replication in a matched case-control set of anthracycline-exposed childhood cancer survivors with (n = 105) and without (n = 160) cardiomyopathy from COG-ALTE03N1. RESULTS: Two SNPs (rs17736312 [ROBO2]) and rs113230990 (near a CCCTC-binding factor insulator [< 750 base pair]) passed the significance cutoff for gene-anthracycline dose interaction in discovery. SNP rs17736312 was successfully replicated. Compared with the GG/AG genotypes on rs17736312 and anthracyclines ≤ 250 mg/m2, the AA genotype and anthracyclines > 250 mg/m2 conferred a 2.2-fold (95% CI, 1.2 to 4.0) higher risk of heart failure in discovery and an 8.2-fold (95% CI, 2.0 to 34.4) higher risk in replication. ROBO2 encodes transmembrane Robo receptors that bind Slit ligands (SLIT). Slit-Robo signaling pathway promotes cardiac fibrosis by interfering with the transforming growth factor-β1/small mothers against decapentaplegic (Smad) pathway, resulting in disordered remodeling of the extracellular matrix and potentiating heart failure. We found significant gene-level associations with heart failure: main effect (TGF-β1, P = .007); gene*anthracycline interaction (ROBO2*anthracycline, P = .0003); and gene*gene*anthracycline interaction (SLIT2*TGF-β1*anthracycline, P = .009). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that high-dose anthracyclines combined with genetic variants involved in the profibrotic Slit-Robo signaling pathway promote cardiac fibrosis via the transforming growth factor-β1/Smad pathway, providing credence to the biologic plausibility of the association between SNP rs17736312 (ROBO2) and anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy.
  • Published In


  • Child, Humans, Transforming Growth Factor beta1, Cancer Survivors, Genome-Wide Association Study, Anthracyclines, Neoplasms, Cardiomyopathies, Heart Failure, Antibiotics, Antineoplastic, Fibrosis, Receptors, Immunologic
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang X; Singh P; Zhou L; Sharafeldin N; Landier W; Hageman L; Burridge P; Yasui Y; Sapkota Y; Blanco JG
  • Start Page

  • 1758
  • End Page

  • 1769
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 9