: Coding sequence variants comprise a small fraction of the germline genetic variability of the human genome. However, they often cause deleterious change in protein function and are therefore associated with pathogenic phenotypes. To identify novel pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) risk loci, we carried out a complete scan of all common missense and synonymous SNPs and analysed them in a case control study comprising four different populations, for a total of 14,538 PDAC cases and 190,657 controls. We observed a statistically significant association between 13q12.2-rs9581957-T and PDAC risk (P=2.46x10 -9), that is in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with a deleterious missense variant (rs9579139) of the URAD gene. Recent findings suggest that this gene is active in peroxisomes. Considering that peroxisomes have a key role as molecular scavengers, especially in eliminating reactive oxygen species, a malfunctioning URAD protein might expose the cell to a higher load of potentially DNA damaging molecules and therefore increase PDAC risk. The association was observed in individuals of European and Asian ethnicity. We also observed the association of the missense variant 15q24.1-rs2277598-T, that belongs to BBS4 gene, with increased PDAC risk (P=1.53x10 -6). rs2277598 is associated with body mass index and is in LD with diabetes susceptibility loci. In conclusion, we identified two missense variants associated with the risk of developing PDAC independently from the ethnicity highlighting the importance of conducting reanalysis of GWAS studies in light of functional data.
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