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Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified the existence of numerous population-based cancer susceptibility loci, mechanistic insights remain limited, particularly for intergenic polymorphisms. Here, we show that polymorphism at a remote intergenic region on chromosome 11q13.3, recently identified as a susceptibility locus for renal cell carcinoma, modulates the binding and function of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) at a previously unrecognized transcriptional enhancer of CCND1 (encoding cyclin D1) that is specific for renal cancers characterized by inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (pVHL). The protective haplotype impairs binding of HIF-2, resulting in an allelic imbalance in cyclin D1 expression, thus affecting a link between hypoxia pathways and cell cycle control.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Genet

Publication Date





420 - S2


Cell Cycle Checkpoints, Cell Hypoxia, Cell Line, Tumor, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 11, Cyclin D1, Enhancer Elements, Genetic, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genetic Variation, Humans, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, Kidney Neoplasms, Molecular Sequence Data, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Von Hippel-Lindau Tumor Suppressor Protein