Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Menopause timing has a substantial impact on infertility and risk of disease, including breast cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We report a dual strategy in ∼70,000 women to identify common and low-frequency protein-coding variation associated with age at natural menopause (ANM). We identified 44 regions with common variants, including two regions harboring additional rare missense alleles of large effect. We found enrichment of signals in or near genes involved in delayed puberty, highlighting the first molecular links between the onset and end of reproductive lifespan. Pathway analyses identified major association with DNA damage response (DDR) genes, including the first common coding variant in BRCA1 associated with any complex trait. Mendelian randomization analyses supported a causal effect of later ANM on breast cancer risk (∼6% increase in risk per year; P = 3 × 10(-14)), likely mediated by prolonged sex hormone exposure rather than DDR mechanisms.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/ng.3412

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature genetics

Publication Date

11/2015

Volume

47

Pages

1294 - 1303

Addresses

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK.

Keywords

PRACTICAL consortium, kConFab Investigators, AOCS Investigators, Generation Scotland, EPIC-InterAct Consortium, LifeLines Cohort Study, Hypothalamus, Humans, Breast Neoplasms, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, BRCA1 Protein, Genomics, Age Factors, Signal Transduction, DNA Repair, Aging, Reproduction, Menopause, Genotype, Phenotype, Models, Genetic, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Gene Regulatory Networks, Genetic Variation, Genome-Wide Association Study