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BACKGROUND: rs10993994, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at the genetic locus encoding beta-microseminoprotein (beta-MSP), is associated with both prostate cancer risk and levels of blood prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a biomarker used in prostate cancer screening. Therefore, we wished to determine the association between SNPs at MSMB, the gene encoding beta-MSP, and the levels of prostate-produced biomarkers beta-MSP, PSA, and human kallikrein 2 (hK2) in blood and semen. METHODS: Blood and semen from 304 healthy young Swedish men (ages 18-21) were assayed for beta-MSP, PSA, and hK2. SNPs around MSMB were genotyped from matched DNA and analyzed for quantitative association with biomarker levels. Empirical P values were multiple test-corrected and the independence of each SNP's effect was determined. RESULTS: rs10993994 was significantly associated with the blood and semen levels of beta-MSP (both P < 1.0 x 10(-7)) and PSA (P = 0.00014 and P = 0.0019), and semen levels of hK2 (P = 0.00027). Additional copies of the prostate cancer risk allele resulted in lower beta-MSP but higher PSA levels, and singly explained 23% and 5% of the variation seen in semen beta-MSP and PSA, respectively. Additional SNPs at MSMB are associated with beta-MSP and PSA independently of rs10993994. CONCLUSIONS: SNPs at MSMB correlate with physiologic variation in beta-MSP and PSA levels in the blood and semen of healthy young Swedish men. In particular, rs10993994 has a strong effect on beta-MSP levels. IMPACT: Our results suggest a mechanism by which rs10993994 might predispose to prostate cancer and raise the possibility that genetic variation might need to be considered in interpreting the levels of these biomarkers.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

Publication Date





2035 - 2042


Adolescent, Biomarkers, Tumor, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Male, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Neoplasms, Prostatic Secretory Proteins, Semen, Sweden, Tissue Kallikreins, Young Adult