Twin studies suggest a heritable component to circulating sex steroid hormones and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). In the NCI-Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium, 874 SNPs in 37 candidate genes in the sex steroid hormone pathway were examined in relation to circulating levels of SHBG (N = 4720), testosterone (N = 4678), 3 alpha-androstanediol-glucuronide (N = 4767) and 17beta-estradiol (N = 2014) in Caucasian men. rs1799941 in SHBG is highly significantly associated with circulating levels of SHBG (P = 4.52 x 10(-21)), consistent with previous studies, and testosterone (P = 7.54 x 10(-15)), with mean difference of 26.9 and 14.3%, respectively, comparing wild-type to homozygous variant carriers. Further noteworthy novel findings were observed between SNPs in ESR1 with testosterone levels (rs722208, mean difference = 8.8%, P = 7.37 x 10(-6)) and SRD5A2 with 3 alpha-androstanediol-glucuronide (rs2208532, mean difference = 11.8%, P = 1.82 x 10(-6)). Genetic variation in genes in the sex steroid hormone pathway is associated with differences in circulating SHBG and sex steroid hormones.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





3749 - 3757


3-Oxo-5-alpha-Steroid 4-Dehydrogenase, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Estrogen Receptor alpha, European Continental Ancestry Group, Gonadal Steroid Hormones, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prostatic Neoplasms, Quantitative Trait Loci, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin