Indexed on: 01 Mar '06Published on: 01 Mar '06Published in: Molecular Biology
Estrogens are critical for breast cancer initiation and development. Sulfotransferase 1A1 (SULT1A1) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) conjugate and inactivate both estrogens and their metabolites, thus preventing estrogen-mediated mitosis and mutagenesis. SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 are both polymorphic, and different alleles encode functionally different allozymes. We hypothesize that low-activity alleles SULT1A1*2 and UGT1A1*28 are associated with higher risk for breast cancer and more severe breast tumor phenotypes. We performed a case-control study, which included 119 women of Russian ancestry with breast cancer and 121 age-matched Russian female controls. We used PCR followed by pyrosequencing to determine the SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 genotypes. Allele UGT1A1*28 was present at a higher frequency than the wild-type UGT1A1*1 allele in breast cancer patients as compared to controls (P = 0.002, OR = 1.79, CI 1.23–2.63). Consistently, the frequency of genotypes that contain allele UGT1A1*28 in the homozygous or the heterozygous state was greater in breast cancer patients as compared with the frequency of the wild-type UGT1A1*1/*1 genotype (P = 0.003, OR = 4.00, CI 1.49–11.11 and P = 0.014, OR = 2.04, CI 1.14–3.57, respectively). Individuals carrying allele UGT1A1*28 in the homo-or heterozygous state had larger breast tumors (>2 cm) as compared to the group with high-activity genotypes (P = 0.011, IR = 3.44, CI 1.42–8.36). No association was observed between any of the SULT1A1 genotypes and breast cancer risk or phenotypes. Our data suggest that UGT1A1, but not SULT1A1, genotypes are important for breast cancer risk and phenotype in Russian women.