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Migraine is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being one of the top 20 most debilitating diseases. According to the neurovascular hypothesis, neuroinflammation may promote the activation and sensitisation of meningeal nociceptors, inducing the persistent throbbing headache characterized in migraine. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) gene cluster, made up of TNFα, lymphotoxin α (LTA), and lymphotoxin β (LTB), has been implicated to influence the intensity and duration of local inflammation. It is thought that sterile inflammation mediated by LTA, LTB, and TNFα contributes to threshold brain excitability, propagation of neuronal hyperexcitability and thus initiation and maintenance of a migraine attack. Previous studies have investigated variants within the TNF gene cluster region in relation to migraine susceptibility, with largely conflicting results. The aim of this study was to expand on previous research and utilize a large case-control cohort and range of variants within the TNF gene cluster to investigate the role of the TNF gene cluster in migraine. Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected for investigation as follows: rs1800683, rs2229094, rs2009658, rs2071590, rs2239704, rs909253, rs1800630, rs1800629, and rs3093664. No significant association with migraine susceptibility was found for any of the SNPs tested, with further testing according to migraine subtype and gender also showing no association for disease risk. Haplotype analysis showed that none of the tested haplotypes were significantly associated with migraine.
In the mammary gland, Wnt signals are strongly implicated in initial development of the mammary rudiments and in the ductal branching and alveolar morphogenesis that occurs during pregnancy. Previously, we identified two Wnt signaling pathway-implicated genes, PPP3CA and MARK4, as having a role in more aggressive and potentially metastatic breast tumors. In this study, we examined two SNPs within PPP3CA and MARK4 in an Australian case-control study population for a potential role in human breast cancers. 182 cases and 180 controls were successfully genotyped for the PPP3CA SNP (rs2850328) and 182 cases and 177 controls were successfully genotyped for the MARK4 SNP (rs2395) using High Resolution Melt (HRM) analysis. Genotypes of randomly selected samples for both SNPs were validated by dye terminator sequencing. Chi-square tests were performed to determine any significant differences in the genotype and allele frequencies between the cases and controls. Chi-square analysis showed no statistically significant difference (ρ > .05) for genotype frequencies between cases and controls for rs2850328 (χ2 = 1.2, p = .5476) or rs2395 (χ2 = .3, p = .8608). Similarly, no statistical difference was observed for allele frequencies for rs2850328 (χ2 = .68, p = .4108) or rs2395 (χ2 = .02, p = .893). Even though an association of the polymorphisms rs2850328 and rs2395 and breast cancer was not detected in our case-control study population, other variants within the PPP3CA and MARK4 genes may still be associated with breast cancer, as both genes are implicated with processes involved in the disease as well as their mutual partaking in the Wnt signaling pathway.
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