A comprehensive analysis of phase I and phase II metabolism gene polymorphisms and risk of colorectal cancer

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Sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC) is considered a multifactorial disease where multiple exposures interact with the individual genetic background resulting in risk modulation. We performed an association study aimed to investigate the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within genes of phase I (CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP1B1, CYP2A6, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A4, ADH2, EPHX1) and phase II of the xenobiotic metabolism (ALDH2, COMT, GSTA2, GSTA4, GSTM1, GSTM3, GSTP1, GSTT2, MTHFR, NAT1, NAT2, NQO1, MnSOD2, SULT1A1, TPMT).


We genotyped 377 cases and 326 controls, by use of an oligonucleotide micro-array and the arrayed primer extension technique (APEX).


N-acetyl-transferase 1 ‘rapid’ phenotype and CYP1A2 −164C>A carriers were associated with increased risk of CRC, confirming data reported in previous studies. Interestingly, homozygotes for allele 48G within CYP1B1, a variant with an increased activity towards several substrates including sex hormones, were at increased risk (OR=2.81, 95% CI 1.32–5.99). Moreover, CYP1A1 SNPs T461N and −1738A>C were associated with a reduced risk of cancer (OR=0.52; 95% CI 0.31–0.88 and OR=0.69, 95% CI 0.50–0.94 for carriers, respectively).


The present data suggest a role for CYP1B1 and CYP1A1 as new candidate genes in the etiology of CRC and confirm the carcinogenic role of aromatic amines metabolism for colorectum.

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