NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), an obligate two-electron reductase, plays an important role in reducing reactive quinones to less reactive and less toxic hydroquinones. Genetic variations in NQO1 gene that impede its enzyme function may be considered as putative risk factor for cancer. Numerous studies have been performed to investigate the association between NQO1 Pro187Ser polymorphism and bladder cancer risk; nevertheless, the results remain controversial.
We indentified eligible publications from PubMed, Embase and CBM databases. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to access the strength of the associations. False-positive report probability (FPRP) analysis was also performed for all statistically significant findings.
We collected a total of 15 studies including 4298 cases and 4275 controls in the final meta-analysis. Overall, the NQO1 187Ser carriers were associated with an increased bladder cancer risk (homozygous: OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.08-1.90; recessive: OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.03-1.72; dominant: OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.04-1.37, and allele comparing: OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.06-1.33). Stratification analyses showed a statistically significant association among Asians (homozygous: OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.39-2.38; recessive: OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.20-1.93, dominant: OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.05-1.88, and allele comparing: OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.15-1.58), never smokers (homozygous: OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.14-4.65; heterozygous: OR = 2.26, 95% CI = 1.43-3.56; dominant model: OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.14-2.21, and allele comparing: OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.27-2.33), hospital-based studies (homozygous: OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.09-1.94; recessive: OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.02-1.69; dominant: OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.05-1.56, and allele comparing: OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.07-1.43), studies with genotyping performed by PCR-RFLP under all genetic models, and studies with minor allele frequency >0.30 (homozygous: OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.25-2.27; recessive: OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.10-1.95, and allele comparing: OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.04-1.51), respectively.
Despite some limitations, our meta-analysis provides sufficient evidence that NQO1 Pro187Ser polymorphism may contribute to bladder cancer risk. These findings need further validation in well-designed prospective studies with larger sample size and different ethnicities, especially for Asians.