Green tea contains high concentrations of tea polyphenols that have shown inhibitory effects against the development, progress, and growth of carcinogen-induced tumors in animal models at different organ sites, including the esophagus and lung. Green tea polyphenols also have shown to suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. Besides antioxidative property, green tea polyphenols have pro-oxidative activities under certain conditions and modulate phase II metabolic enzymes that can enhance the detoxification pathway of environmental toxicants and carcinogens. Although epidemiological studies have provided inconclusive results on the effect of green tea consumption against the development of esophageal and lung cancers in humans overall, the inverse association between green tea intake and risk of esophageal cancer risk is more consistently observed in studies with adequate control for potential confounders. Epidemiological studies also have demonstrated an inverse, albeit moderate, association between green tea consumption and lung cancer, especially in non-smokers. This article reviews data on the cancer-preventive activities of green tea extract and green tea polyphenols and possible mechanisms against the esophageal and lung carcinogenesis in experimental animals, and summarizes the current knowledge from epidemiological studies on the relationship between green tea consumption and esophageal and lung cancer risk in humans.
Esophageal cancer; Green tea; Lung cancer; Polyphenol
A body of research links dietary intake, alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and possibly sleep patterns with colorectal cancer risk. However, little research has examined the association of the combination of these lifestyle factors with incidence of colorectal cancer, especially in non-western populations. A protective lifestyle factor index of these 6 aforementioned factors was created and examined in relation to risk of developing colorectal cancer. This study is a prospective observational study of 50,466 Chinese men and women in Singapore aged 45–74 during enrollment in the Singapore Chinese Health Study in 1993–1998 and followed up through 2007. The main outcome measures were standardized rates and hazard ratios of incident colorectal cancer. The protective levels of each lifestyle factor were independently associated with reduced age- and sex-standardized incidence rates of colon cancer. When all the factors were combined into a single protective lifestyle factor index, there was a strong, monotonic decrease in incidence rate of colon cancer with an increasing score. Relative to participants with an index score of 0–3, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of colon cancer for an index score of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9/10 were 0.58 (0.35–0.95), 0.56 (0.36–0.86), 0.50 (0.33–0.76), 0.43 (0.28–0.66), 0.39 (0.25–0.63), and 0.25 (0.12–0.54) (P for trend <0.0001). The results were consistent by sex. Conversely, there was no association with rectal cancer risk. An increasing protective lifestyle factor index score is associated with a marked decreased risk of developing colon cancer in Chinese men and women.
Lifestyle; sleep; Colorectal Cancer; Asian
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) plays a critical role in normal mammary development and morphogenesis. Decreased TGF-β signaling has been associated with increased mammographic density. Percent mammographic density (PMD) adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI) is a strong risk factor and predictor of breast cancer risk. PMD is highly heritable, but few genetic determinants have been identified. We investigated the association between genetic variation in TGFB1 and PMD using a cross-sectional study of 2,038 women who were members of the population-based Singapore Chinese Health Study cohort. We assessed PMD using a computer-assisted method. We used linear regression to examine the association between 9 tagging SNPs of TGFB1 and PMD and their interaction with parity, adjusting for age, BMI, and dialect group. We calculated ‘P-values adjusted for correlated tests’ (PACT) to account for multiple testing. The strongest association was observed for rs2241716. Adjusted PMD was higher by 1.5% per minor allele (PACT =0.04). When stratifying by parity, this association was limited to nulliparous women. For nulliparous women, adjusted PMD was higher by 8.6% per minor allele (PACT=0.003; P for interaction with parity=0.002). Three additional TGFB1 tagging SNPs, which were in linkage disequilibrium with rs2241716, were statistically significantly associated with adjusted PMD (PACT<0.05) for nulliparous women. However, none of these three SNPs showed statistically significant association after adjusting for rs2241716. Our data support that TGFB1 genetic variation may be an important genetic determinant of mammographic density measure that predicts breast cancer risk, particularly in nulliparous women.
TGFB1; polymorphism; mammographic density; Chinese
Studies have indicated that diabetes is a risk factor for bladder cancer; however, many failed to adjust for confounding variables. An earlier publication from the Iowa Women's Health Study reported a positive association of baseline diabetes with bladder cancer risk between 1986 and 1998, although the number of cases was small (n=112). We re-examined the diabetes–bladder cancer risk association by accounting for 12 more years of follow-up and assessed whether the association varied by diabetes duration, body mass index or waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).
Proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of bladder cancer (n=277) in relation to diabetes (before enrollment and during follow-up) and diabetes duration using a time-dependent approach.
In a multivariate time-dependent analysis, the HR for bladder cancer was 1.69 (95% CI, 1.40-2.41) in relation to diabetes among 37,327 postmenopausal women initially free of cancer. There was an interaction between diabetes and WHR (p =0.01). Bladder cancer HR in diabetic women with WHR>0.9 was 2.5 times higher than expected. There was no dose-response relation of bladder cancer risk with diabetes duration. Compared to no diabetes, HR were 1.77. 2.03, and 1.55 for diabetes durations of ≤5, 6-10, and >10 years, respectively.
We confirmed a positive association between diabetes and bladder cancer risk among white post-menopausal women. We also observed a synergistic interaction between diabetes and high WHR in bladder cancer development that might be explained by increased insulin resistance and inflammation related to abdominal obesity.
Bladder cancer; diabetes; prospective study
We previously reported an inverse association between sleep duration and breast cancer risk in the prospective, population-based Singapore Chinese Health Study (SCHS) cohort (Wu et al., Carcinogenesis 2008;29:1244–8). Sleep duration was significantly positively associated with 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s) levels determined in a spot urine, but aMT6s levels in breast cancer cases were lacking (Wu et al., Carcinogenesis 2008;29:1244–8). We updated the sleep duration–breast cancer association with 14 years of follow-up of 34,028 women in the SCHS. In a nested case–control study conducted within the SCHS, randomly timed, prediagnostic urinary aMT6s concentrations were compared between 248 incident breast cancer and 743 individually matched cohort controls. Three female controls were individually matched to each case on age at baseline interview (within 3 years), dialect group, menopausal status, date of baseline interview (within 2 years), date of urine sample collection (within 6 months) and timing of urine collection during the day (within 1 hr). Cox proportional hazards and conditional regression models with appropriate adjustment for confounders were used to examine the sleep– and aMT6s–breast cancer relationships. Breast cancer risk was not significantly associated with sleep duration; adjusted odds ratio (OR) for 9+ vs. ≤6 hr is 0.89 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 5 0.64–1.22]. Prediagnostic aMT6s levels did not differ between breast cancer cases and matched controls; adjusted OR for highest versus lowest quartiles is 1.00 (95% CI 5 0.64-1.54). We conclude that sleep duration is not significantly associated with breast cancer risk reduction. Melatonin levels derived from randomly timed spot urine are unrelated to breast cancer. Randomly timed, spot urine-derived melatonin levels are noninformative as surrogates of nocturnal melatonin production.
sleep duration; spot urinary melatonin; breast cancer; prospective; Singaporean Chinese
Asthma is believed to increase the risk for several proinflammatory diseases, yet epidemiologic studies on asthma in relation to risk of developing type 2 diabetes are sparse and have reported inconsistent results. In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that asthma is associated with an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes in Chinese adults.
We used data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, including Chinese men and women aged 45–74 years, free of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes at baseline (1993–1998) and followed through 2004 for incident physician-diagnosed diabetes. Cox regression models were used to examine the associations between self-reported history of physician-diagnosed asthma and risk of diabetes.
During an average follow-up of 5.7 years per person, 2,234 of the 42,842 participants included in the current analyses reported diagnoses of type 2 diabetes. After adjustment for potential confounders, not including body mass index (BMI), asthma was associated with a 31% increased risk of incident diabetes (HR = 1.31; 95% CI: 1.00–1.72). The association was attenuated after adjustment for adult BMI (HR = 1.25 95% CI: 0.95–1.64). The asthma-diabetes association appeared stronger for adult- versus child-diagnosed asthma cases, and for participants who were obese compared to non-obese.
In Singaporean Chinese adults we observed a positive association between self-reported, physician-diagnosed asthma and risk of developing type 2 diabetes that was modestly attenuated upon adjustment for BMI.
Asthma; Type 2 diabetes; Obesity
Metabolites of tobacco smoke constituents can be quantified in urine and other body fluids providing a realistic measure of carcinogen and toxicant dose in a smoker. Many previous studies have demonstrated that these metabolites – referred to as biomarkers in this paper – are related to tobacco smoke exposure. The studies reviewed here were designed to answer another question: are these substances also biomarkers of cancer risk? Using a prospective study design comparing biomarker levels in cancer cases and controls, all of whom were smokers, the results demonstrate that several of these biomarkers – total cotinine, total 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), r-1-,t-2,3,c-4-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrophenanthrene (PheT), and total N’-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) - are biomarkers of cancer risk. Therefore, these biomarkers have the potential to become part of a cancer risk prediction algorithm for smokers.
tobacco smoke; biomarkers; cotinine; NNAL; PheT; NNN
While some studies have found a positive association between both short and long sleep durations and cardiovascular disease (CVD), others have found an association only with a long or short sleep duration. In addition, there are limited data from non-Western populations on this topic. The authors examined the association between sleep duration and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality among Chinese adults in Singapore (1993-2006), performing a prospective cohort study among 58,044 participants aged ≥45 years (55.9% women) without preexisting CVD. The main outcome of interest was CHD mortality (n = 1,416). The authors found both short and long sleep durations to be positively associated with CHD mortality, independent of smoking, alcohol intake, and body mass index. Compared with persons with a sleep duration of 7 hours (referent), the multivariable relative risk of CHD mortality for a sleep duration of ≤5 hours was 1.57 (95% confidence interval: 1.32, 1.88); for a sleep duration of ≥9 hours, it was 1.79 (95% confidence interval: 1.48, 2.17). This association persisted in subgroup analyses by sex sleep and body mass index. In a population-based cohort of Chinese adults from Singapore, sleep durations of ≤5 hours and ≥9 hours (versus 7 hours) were modestly associated with CHD mortality. These results suggest that duration may be an important marker for CVD.
Asian continental ancestry group; cardiovascular diseases; coronary disease; mortality; Singapore; sleep
Vitamin D is known for maintaining calcium homeostasis and bone structure, and may also decrease susceptibility to chronic and infectious diseases. However, data on vitamin D status and its predictors among Southeast Asian populations is limited. We evaluated the distribution and determinants (genetic and environmental) of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations among 504 middle-aged and elderly participants (aged 45–74 years) in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Data on dietary and other lifestyle factors were collected by trained interviewers. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations and genetic polymorphisms in vitamin D metabolism pathway enzymes [cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2R1, 3A4, 27B1, 24A1; vitamin D binding protein (GC); and vitamin D receptor (VDR)] were measured using stored biospecimens. Mean 25(OH)D concentration was 68.8 nmol/L. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were positively associated with dietary vitamin D intake, and inversely associated with hours sitting at work. BMI was not associated with 25(OH)D concentrations. CYP2R1 rs10741657, rs12794714, rs1993116; CYP3A4 rs2242480; and GC rs4588, rs7041, rs16847015, rs2298849 were statistically significantly associated with 25(OH)D concentrations. Individuals with the Gc2-2 haplotype (rs4588AA/rs7041TT) had statistically significantly lower 25(OH)D concentrations compared to all other Gc haplotypes (p-trend<0.001). The majority of participants (86%) had 25(OH)D concentrations ≥50 nmol/L, which is consistent with the 2011 Institute of Medicine (United States) recommendation for bone health, and 32% had concentrations of ≥75 nmol/L that are thought to be required for broader health effects. Dietary vitamin D intake, hours spent indoors at work, and genetic variation in CYP2R1, CYP3A4 and GC are significant predictors of 25(OH)D concentrations among Singapore Chinese.
25-hydroxyvitamin D; CYP2R1; CYP3A4; GC
We conducted a genome-wide association study of gastric cancer (GC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in ethnic Chinese subjects in which we genotyped 551,152 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We report a combined analysis of 2,240 GC cases, 2,115 ESCC cases, and 3,302 controls drawn from five studies. In logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, and study, multiple variants at 10q23 had genome-wide significance for GC and ESCC independently. A notable signal was rs2274223, a nonsynonymous SNP located in PLCE1, for GC (P=8.40×1010; per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.31) and ESCC (P=3.85×10−9; OR = 1.34). The association with GC differed by anatomic subsite. For tumors located in the cardia the association was stronger (P=4.19 × 10−15; OR= 1.57) and for those located in the noncardia stomach it was absent (P=0.44; OR=1.05). Our findings at 10q23 could provide insight into the high incidence rates of both cancers in China.
Mitochondria are eukaryotic organelles responsible for energy production. Quantitative changes in human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number have been implicated in various cancer types. Data from prospective cohort studies on mtDNA copy number and colorectal cancer risk have been lacking.
We evaluated the association between mtDNA copy number in peripheral blood and colorectal cancer risk in a nested case-control study of 422 colorectal cancer cases (168 cases with pre-diagnostic blood and 254 cases with post-diagnostic blood) and 874 controls who were free of colorectal cancer among participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. The relative mtDNA copy number was measured using real time PCR. Unconditional logistic regression methods were employed to examine the association between mtDNA copy number and colorectal cancer risk.
There was a U-shaped relationship between the relative mtDNA copy number and colorectal cancer risk. Compared with the 2nd quartile, the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for subjects in the lowest and highest quartiles of relative mtDNA copy numbers were 1.81 (1.13–2.89) and 3.40 (2.15–5.36), respectively (Pcurvilinearity <0.0001). This U-shaped relationship was present in both men and women, similar for colon cancer and rectal cancer, and independent of the timing of blood draw with regards to cancer diagnosis.
This is the first prospectively designed study to show a U-shaped association between the relative mtDNA copy number and risk of colorectal cancer.
The findings of the present study support that mtDNA may play a critical role in the colorectal carcinogenesis in humans.
Mitochondria; colorectal cancer; prospective; cohort; mitochondrial DNA copy number
Herein, we propose a modified version of the Wako-Saitô-Muñoz-Eaton (WSME) model. The proposed model introduces an empirical temperature parameter for the hypothetical structural units (i.e., foldons) in proteins to include site-dependent thermodynamic behavior. The thermodynamics for both our proposed model and the original WSME model were investigated. For a system with beta-hairpin topology, a mathematical treatment (contact-pair treatment) to facilitate the calculation of its partition function was developed. The results show that the proposed model provides better insight into the site-dependent thermodynamic behavior of the system, compared with the original WSME model. From this site-dependent point of view, the relationship between probe-dependent experimental results and model’s thermodynamic predictions can be explained. The model allows for suggesting a general principle to identify foldon behavior. We also find that the backbone hydrogen bonds may play a role of structural constraints in modulating the cooperative system. Thus, our study may contribute to the understanding of the fundamental principles for the thermodynamics of protein folding.
WSME model; Protein; Beta-hairpin; Backbone hydrogen bond; Thermodynamics; Probe-dependent thermodynamic behavior; Site-dependent behavior; Foldon
Protein aggregation is an important field of investigation because it is closely related to the problem of neurodegenerative diseases, to the development of biomaterials, and to the growth of cellular structures such as cyto-skeleton. Self-aggregation of protein amyloids, for example, is a complicated process involving many species and levels of structures. This complexity, however, can be dealt with using statistical mechanical tools, such as free energies, partition functions, and transfer matrices. In this article, we review general strategies for studying protein aggregation using statistical mechanical approaches and show that canonical and grand canonical ensembles can be used in such approaches. The grand canonical approach is particularly convenient since competing pathways of assembly and dis-assembly can be considered simultaneously. Another advantage of using statistical mechanics is that numerically exact solutions can be obtained for all of the thermodynamic properties of fibrils, such as the amount of fibrils formed, as a function of initial protein concentration. Furthermore, statistical mechanics models can be used to fit experimental data when they are available for comparison.
protein aggregation; protein amyloid; statistical mechanics; partition function; transfer matrix
There is paucity of data from Asian women on the association between serum estrogens and osteoporotic hip fracture risk. We conducted a case-control study nested within a population-based prospective cohort, The Singapore Chinese Health Study, to evaluate serum estrogens levels, ERα-mediated estrogenic activity and hip fracture risk in postmenopausal Asian women. Among 35,298 women who were recruited between 1993 and 1998, 15,410 women donated blood for research between 1999 and 2004. From this subcohort, we identified 140 cases who subsequently suffered hip fracture after blood donation, and 278 age-matched controls. Serum levels of total estrone, estradiol and sex hormone binding globulin levels were measured in a blinded fashion among cases and controls. ERα-mediated estrogenic activity of serum samples was quantified using a sensitive ERα-driven cell bioassay. Women with hip fracture had lower serum estrogens than control women. Compared to the lowest quintile, women in the highest quintile of free estradiol exhibited a statistically significant 57% reduction in risk of hip fracture (95% confidence interval (CI), 6%–80%), with a dose-dependent relationship (p for trend = 0.021). High levels of ERα-mediated estrogenic activity was also associated with decreased risk of hip fracture (p for trend=0.048). Overall, women with relatively high levels of both free estradiol and ERα-mediated estrogenic activity had a 55% reduction in hip fracture risk (95% CI, 17%–76%) compared to women with low levels of both. High levels of free estradiol and ERα-mediated estrogen activity in sera were associated with reduced hip fracture risk in Chinese postmenopausal women.
Estrogens; Hip Fracture; ERα-mediated estrogenic activity; Population-based; Asian women
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
Besides polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), which are established lung carcinogens, tobacco smoke also contains relatively large quantities of volatile organic carcinogens and toxicants, including 1,3-butadiene, ethylene oxide, benzene, acrolein and crotonaldehyde. Although animal experiments showed that some of these compounds can induce tumors in multiple organs including the lung, epidemiological studies of their relationship with lung cancer in smokers have not been reported. Therefore, in this study, we quantified urinary mercapturic acid metabolites of 1,3-butadiene, ethylene oxide, benzene, acrolein and crotonaldehyde in addition to urinary biomarkers for PAH, NNK and nicotine in 343 lung cancer cases and 392 matched controls among a cohort of 18 244 Chinese men in Shanghai, China, followed from 1986 to 2006. Compared with the lowest quartiles, highest quartiles of all measured mercapturic acids were associated with statistically significantly ∼2-fold increased risk for lung cancer (all P’s for trend <0.01) after adjustment for smoking intensity and duration. The positive associations between biomarkers of ethylene oxide, benzene or acrolein and lung cancer risk remained statistically significant after adjustment for biomarkers of PAH and NNK, whereas urinary total cotinine completely explained the mercapturic acid metabolites and lung cancer associations (all P’s for trend ≥0.39). We conclude that mercapturic acid metabolites of 1,3-butadiene, ethylene oxide, benzene, acrolein and crotonaldehyde may not be independent risk predictors of lung cancer among Shanghai smokers, in contrast to biomarkers of PAH, NNK and nicotine exposure.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a transcription factor important for adipogenesis and adipocyte differentiation. Data from animal studies suggest that PPARγ may be involved in breast tumorigenesis, but results from epidemiologic studies on the association between PPARγ variation and breast cancer risk have been mixed. Recent data suggest that soy isoflavones can activate PPARγ. We investigated the inter-relations of soy, PPARγ, and mammographic density (MD), a biomarker of breast cancer risk in a cross-sectional study of 2,038 women who were members of the population-based Singapore Chinese Health Study Cohort.
We assessed MD using a computer-assisted method. We used linear regression to examine the association between 26 tagging SNPs of PPARγ and their interaction with soy intake and MD. To correct for multiple testing, we calculated P-values adjusted for multiple correlated tests (PACT).
Out of the 26 tested SNPs in the PPARγ, 6 SNPs were individually shown to be statistically significantly associated with MD (PACT=0.004∼0.049). A stepwise regression procedure identified that only rs880663 was independently associated with MD which decreased by 1.89% per minor allele (PACT=0.008).This association was significantly stronger in high soy consumers as MD decreased by 3.97% per minor allele of rs880663 in high soy consumers (PACT=0.006; P for interaction with lower soy intake=0.017).
Our data support that PPARγ genetic variation may be important in determining MD, particularly in high soy consumers.
Our findings may help to identify molecular targets and lifestyle intervention for future prevention research.
PPARγ; PPARG; polymorphism; soy; mammographic density; Chinese
Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) is hypothesized to catalyze the activation of arylamines, known human bladder carcinogens present in cigarette smoke. The relationship between CYP1A2 phenotype and bladder cancer risk was examined in a case-control study involving 519 patients and 514 controls in Shanghai, China. Both CYP1A2 and N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) phenotypic status were determined by a caffeine-based urinary assay. The present study showed that among smokers at urine collection, bladder cancer patients had statistically significantly higher CYP1A2 phenotype scores compared with control subjects (P = 0.001). The odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of bladder cancer for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quartiles of the CYP1A2 score were 1.31 (0.53–3.28), 2.04 (0.90–4.60) and 2.82 (1.32–6.05), respectively, relative to the lowest quartile (P for trend = 0.003). NAT2 slow acetylation phenotype was associated with a statistically significant 40% increased risk of bladder cancer, and the relationship was independent of subjects’ smoking status. Subjects possessing the NAT2 slow acetylation phenotype and the highest tertile of CYP1A2 scores showed the highest risk for bladder cancer. Their odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) was 2.13 (1.24–3.68) relative to their counterparts possessing the NAT2 rapid acetylation phenotype and the lowest tertile of CYP1A2 scores. The findings of the present study demonstrate that CYP1A2 phenotype may be an important contributing factor in the development of smoking-related bladder cancer in humans.
Reduced levels of global DNA methylation, assessed in peripheral blood, have been associated with bladder cancer risk in European and American populations. Similar data are lacking in Asian populations where genetic differences, lifestyle factors, and different environmental exposures may affect DNA methylation and its risk relationship with bladder cancer. The association between global DNA methylation measured at long interspersed nuclear element (LINE-1) repeat regions through bisulfite pyrosequencing in lymphocyte DNA and bladder cancer risk was examined in a case-control study of 510 bladder cancer patients and 528 healthy control subjects in Shanghai, China. In an initial analysis restricted to control subjects, LINE-1 methylation was elevated among men, those who frequently consumed cruciferous vegetables, and those with a null genotype for either glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) or GSTT1. In contrast, reduced LINE-1 methylation was found in current smokers with a high cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) phenotype index. In a case-control analysis, there was no significant association of LINE-1 methylation with case status, although reduced LINE-1 methylation was associated with increased risk of bladder cancer among never smokers (P for trend = 0.03); analysis by tertile revealed odds ratios (ORs) of 1.91 (lowest tertile; 95% CI = 1.17–3.13) and 1.34 (middle tertile; 95% CI = 0.79–2.28) when compared to the highest tertile. This association was strongest among nonsmokers null for either the GSTM1 or GSTT1 genotype (P for trend = 0.006). Further research is needed to understand the relationships between methyl group availability and LINE-1 methylation in relation to bladder cancer risk.
Earlier, we reported a highly statistically significant association between T-helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cytokine genotypes and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk among natives of southern Guangxi, China, a hyperendemic region for HCC. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) plays a critical role in malignant transformation of hepatocytes and tumor progression. A polymorphism in the EGF gene (61A > G) results in elevation of EGF in liver tissues and blood. Epidemiological data are sparse on the possible association between EGF genetic polymorphism and HCC risk.
The EGF 61A > G polymorphism, multiple Th1 and Th2 genotypes, and environmental risk factors for HCC were determined on 117 HCC cases and 225 healthy control subjects among non-Asians of Los Angeles County, California, a low-risk population for HCC, and 250 HCC cases and 245 controls of southern Guangxi, China.
Following adjustment for all known or suspected HCC risk factors, non-Asians in Los Angeles who possessed at least one copy of the high activity 61*G allele of the EGF gene showed a statistically non-significant, 78% increased risk of HCC compared with those possessing the EGF A/A genotype. This EGF-HCC risk association significantly strengthened among heavy users of alcohol [odds ratio (OR) = 3.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.93–12.76, P = 0.065)], and among individuals carrying the high-risk Th1/Th2 genotypes for HCC (OR = 3.34, 95% CI = 1.24-9.03, P = 0.017). No association between EGF genotype and HCC risk was observed among Chinese in southern Guangxi, China.
Genetic polymorphism in the EGF gene resulting in elevated level of EGF, may contribute to HCC risk among low-risk non-Asians in Los Angeles.
Epidermal growth factor; T-helper; Cytokines; Hepatocellular carcinoma
There is little information regarding associations between suspected bladder cancer risk factors and tumor subtypes at diagnosis. Some, but not all, studies have found that bladder cancer among smokers is often more invasive than it is among nonsmokers. This population-based case-control study was conducted in Los Angeles, California, involving 1,586 bladder cancer patients and their individually matched controls. Logistic regression was used to conduct separate analyses according to tumor subtypes defined by stage and grade. Cigarette smoking increased risk of both superficial and invasive bladder cancer, but the more advanced the stage, the stronger the effect. The odds ratios associated with regular smokers were 2.2 (95% confidence intervals, 1.8-2.8), 2.7 (2.1-3.6) and 3.7 (2.5-5.5) for low-grade superficial, high-grade superficial and invasive tumors respectively. This pattern was consistently observed regardless of the smoking exposure index under examination. Women had higher risk of invasive bladder cancer than men even they smoked comparable amount of cigarettes as men. There was no gender difference in the association between smoking and risk of low-grade superficial bladder cancer. The heterogeneous effect of cigarette smoking was attenuated among heavy users of NSAIDs. Our results indicate that cigarette smoking was more strongly associated with increased risk of invasive bladder cancer than with low-grade superficial bladder cancer.
cigarette smoking; bladder cancer; tumor subtypes; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Los Angeles
The enzymes folylpolyglutamate synthase (FPGS) and gamma-glutamyl hydrolase (GGH) are essential for determining intracellular folate availability for one-carbon metabolism (OCM) pathways. FPGS adds glutamyl groups to the folate molecule, thereby converting folate into the preferred substrate for several enzymes in OCM pathways. GGH removes glutamyl groups, allowing folate metabolites to leave the cell. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FPGS and GGH genes influence measured plasma homocysteine levels. Study participants were a sub-cohort (n = 482) from the Singapore Chinese Health Study. SNPs were selected using HapMap tagSNPs and SNPs previously reported in the scientific literature. Multiple linear regression was used to evaluate the association between individual SNPs and plasma homocysteine levels. Two FPGS (rs10106, rs1098774) and 9 GGH (rs719235, rs1031552, rs1800909, rs3758149, rs3780126, rs3824333, rs4617146, rs11545076, rs11545078) SNPs were included in the final analysis. Neither of the FPGS SNPs, but three GGH SNPs were associated with plasma homocysteine levels: rs11545076 (p=0.001), rs1800909 (p=0.02), and rs3758149 (p = 0.006). Only one (rs11545076) remained statistically significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons. This study suggests that GGH SNPs, rs11545076, rs1800909, and rs3758149, may have functional relevance and result in alterations in plasma homocysteine levels. Since this is one of the first studies to assess FPGS and GGH genetic variants in relation to plasma homocysteine, further research is needed to confirm these findings and characterize the functional effects of these variants.
FPGS; GGH; Folate; Homocysteine; SNP
Epidemiological evidence has suggested that consumption of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of several types of cancers and chronic degenerative diseases. In particular, broccoli sprouts are a convenient and rich source of the glucosinolate, glucoraphanin, which can release the chemopreventive agent, sulforaphane, an inducer of glutathione S-transferases. Two broccoli sprout-derived beverages, one sulforaphane-rich (SFR) and the other glucoraphanin-rich (GRR), were evaluated for pharmacodynamic action in a crossover clinical trial design. Study participants were recruited from the farming community of He Zuo Township, Qidong, China, previously documented to have a high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma with concomitant exposures to aflatoxin and more recently characterized with exposures to substantive levels of airborne pollutants. Fifty healthy participants were randomized into two treatment arms. The study protocol was as follows: a 5 days run-in period, a 7 days administration of beverage, a 5 days washout period and a 7 days administration of the opposite beverage. Urinary excretion of the mercapturic acids of acrolein, crotonaldehyde, ethylene oxide and benzene were measured both pre- and postinterventions using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Statistically significant increases of 20–50% in the levels of excretion of glutathione-derived conjugates of acrolein, crotonaldehyde and benzene were seen in individuals receiving SFR, GRR or both compared with their preintervention baseline values. No significant differences were seen between the effects of SFR versus GRR. Intervention with broccoli sprouts may enhance detoxication of airborne pollutants and attenuate their associated health risks.
Some epidemiological investigations have revealed that frequent consumption of well-done cooked meats and tobacco smoking are risk factors for breast cancer in women. 2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) is a heterocyclic aromatic amine that is formed in well-done cooked meat, and 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) is an aromatic amine that arises in tobacco smoke and occurs as a contaminant in the atmosphere. Both compounds are rodent mammary carcinogens, and putative DNA adducts of PhIP and 4-ABP have been frequently detected, by immunohistochemistry (IHC) or 32P-post-labeling methods, in mammary tissue of USA women. Because of these findings, PhIP and 4-ABP have been implicated as causal agents of human breast cancer. However, the biomarker data are controversial: both IHC and 32P-post-labeling are non-selective screening methods and fail to provide confirmatory spectral data. Consequently, the identities of the lesions are equivocal. We employed a specific and sensitive liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (MS) method, to screen tumor-adjacent normal mammary tissue for DNA adducts of PhIP and 4-ABP. Only 1 of 70 biopsy samples obtained from Minneapolis, Minnesota breast cancer patients contained a PhIP-DNA adduct. The level was three adducts per 109 nucleotides, a level that is 100-fold lower than the mean level of PhIP adducts reported by IHC or 32P-post-labeling methods. The occurrence of 4-ABP-DNA adducts was nil in those same breast tissues. Our findings, derived from a specific mass spectrometry method, signify that PhIP and 4-ABP are not major DNA-damaging agents in mammary tissue of USA women and raise questions about the roles of these chemicals in breast cancer.
Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for colorectal cancer. Putative colorectal procarcinogens in tobacco smoke include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic aromatic amines that are known substrates of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). This study examined the influence of functional GST gene polymorphisms on the smoking–colorectal cancer association in a population known to be minimally exposed to dietary sources of these procarcinogens. Incident cases of colorectal cancer (n = 480) and matched controls (n = 1167) were selected from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a population-based prospective cohort of 63 257 men and women who have been followed since 1993. We determined the deletion polymorphisms of GSTM1 and GSTT1 and the functional polymorphism at codon 105 of GSTP1 for each subject. A three level composite GST index was used to examine if GST profile affected a smoker’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. While there was no statistically significant association between cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer risk among subjects absent of any at-risk GST genotypes, smokers possessing two to three at-risk GST genotypes exhibited a statistically significant increased risk of colorectal cancer compared with non-smokers (P = 0.0002). In this latter stratum, heavy smokers exhibited a >5-fold increased risk relative to never-smokers (odds ratio, 5.43; 95% confidence interval, 2.22–13.23). Subjects with one at-risk GST genotype displayed a statistically significant but weaker association with smoking. These findings suggest that GST gene polymorphisms influence interindividual susceptibility to smoking-associated colorectal cancer. Our data indicate an important role for GST enzymes in the detoxification of colorectal carcinogens in tobacco smoke.