Association between polymorphisms of TAS2R16 and susceptibility to colorectal cancer

Jonathan Barontini, Marco Antinucci, Sergio Tofanelli, Maurizio Cammalleri, Massimo Dal Monte, Federica Gemignani, Pavel Vodicka, Roberto Marangoni, Ludmila Vodickova, Juozas Kupcinskas, Veronika Vymetalkova, Asta Forsti, Federico Canzian, Angelika Stein, Victor Moreno, Nicola Mastrodonato, Francesca Tavano, Anna Panza, Roberto Barale, Stefano LandiDaniele Campa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Genetics plays an important role in the susceptibility to sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). In the last 10 years genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 40 independent low penetrance polymorphic variants. However, these loci only explain around 1-4% of CRC heritability, highlighting the dire need of identifying novel risk loci. In this study, we focused our attention on the genetic variability of the TAS2R16 gene, encoding for one of the bitter taste receptors that selectively binds to salicin, a natural antipyretic that resembles aspirin. Given the importance of inflammation in CRC, we tested whether polymorphic variants in this gene could affect the risk of developing this neoplasia hypothesizing a role of TAS2R16 in modulating chronic inflammation within the gut. Methods: We performed an association study using 6 tagging SNPs, (rs860170, rs978739, rs1357949, rs1525489, rs6466849, rs10268496) that cover all TAS2R16 genetic variability. The study was carried out on 1902 CRC cases and 1532 control individuals from four European countries. Results: We did not find any statistically significant association between risk of developing CRC and selected SNPs. However, after stratification by histology (colon vs. rectum) we found that rs1525489 was associated with increased risk of rectal cancer with a (Ptrend of = 0.0071). Conclusions: Our data suggest that polymorphisms within TAS2R16 gene do not have a strong influence on colon cancer susceptibility, but a possible role in rectal cancer should be further evaluated in larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2017


  • Cancer risk
  • Colon cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Genetic association study
  • Polymorphisms
  • Rectal cancer
  • TAS2R16
  • Taste receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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