Genetic polymorphisms in human SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 genes associate with breast tumor characteristics: a case-series study.

Research paper by Ekaterina G EG Shatalova, Susan E SE Walther, Olga O OO Favorova, Timothy R TR Rebbeck, Rebecca L RL Blanchard

Indexed on: 11 Nov '05Published on: 11 Nov '05Published in: Breast Cancer Research


Estrogens are important in breast cancer development. SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 catalyze estrogen metabolism and are polymorphic. The SULT1A1*2 protein exhibits low activity, and a TA repeat within the UGT1A1 promoter alters the level of expression of the protein. We hypothesized that the SULT1A1*2 allozyme has decreased capacity to sulfate estrogens, that the SULT1A1*2 allele conferred increased capacity of cells to proliferate in response to estrogens, and that individuals with the variant SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 genotypes exhibited different breast tumor characteristics.The capacity for SULT1A1*2 to sulfate 17beta-estradiol and the capacity for cells expressing SULT1A1*1 or SULT1A1*2 to proliferate in response to 17beta-estradiol was evaluated. A case-series study was performed in a total of 210 women with incident breast cancer, including 177 Caucasians, 25 African-Americans and eight women of other ethnic background. The SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 genotypes were determined and a logistic regression model was used to analyze genotype-phenotype associations.We determined that the SULT1A1*1/*1 high-activity genotype was associated with tumor size <or=2 cm (odds ratio = 2.63, 95% confidence interval = 1.25-5.56, P = 0.02). Individuals with low-activity UGT1A1 genotypes (UGT1A1*28/*28 or UGT1A1*28/*34) were more likely to have an age at diagnosis >or=60 years (odds ratio = 3.70, 95% confidence interval = 1.33-10.00, P = 0.01). Individuals with both SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 high-activity genotypes had low tumor grade (odds ratio = 2.56, 95% confidence interval = 1.04-6.25, P = 0.05). Upon stratification by estrogen receptor status, significant associations were observed predominantly in estrogen receptor-negative tumors.The data suggest that genetic variation in SULT1A1 and UGT1A1 may influence breast cancer characteristics and might be important for breast cancer prognosis.