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Cancer Res. 2000 Oct 15;60(20):5710-3.

Increased risk of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia associated with a CYP17 gene polymorphism with a gene dosage effect.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Akita University School of Medicine, Japan.


The CYP17 gene (CYP17) codes for the cytochrome P450c17alpha enzyme, which mediates two key steps in the sex steroid synthesis. There is a polymorphism (a T-to-C substitution) in the 5'-untranslated region, which may influence the transcription level of CYP17 mRNA. There is a continuing controversy as to whether the variant allele is associated with a subset of breast cancer or polycystic ovary syndrome. In prostate cancer research, there are contradictory data concerning the CYP17 risk allele. We explored the association between CYP17 polymorphism and a risk of prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in a Japanese population. This study included 252 prostate cancer patients, 202 BPH patients, and 131 male controls. A 451-bp fragment encompassing the polymorphic site was amplified by PCR, treated with restriction enzyme MspA1, and electrophoresed on an agarose gel. The MspA1-undigested allele with the published sequence and the MspA1-digested variant allele were designated as A1 and A2, respectively. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the genotypes between prostate cancer patients and male controls, and between BPH patients and male controls. Men with the A1/A1 CYP17 genotype had an increased risk of prostate cancer [odds ratio (OR), 2.57; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.39-4.78] and BPH (OR, 2.44; 95% CI = 1.26-4.72) compared with those with the A2/A2 genotype. Men with the A1/A2 genotype had an intermediate increased risk of prostate cancer (OR, 1.45; 95% CI = 0.84-2.54) and BPH (OR, 1.60; 95% CI = 0.89-2.87) compared with those with the A2/A2 genotype. The trend of an increasing risk of prostate cancer and BPH with an increasing number of the A1 allele was statistically significant (prostate cancer versus male control, P = 0.003; OR, 1.57; 95% CI = 1.16-2.12; BPH versus male control, P = 0.008; OR, 1.55; 95% CI = 1.12-2.13). There was no significant association between the CYP17 genotype and the tumor status (grade and stage) of prostate cancer. Our results suggest that the A1 allele of the CYP17 polymorphism is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and BPH, with a gene dosage effect. However, the CYP17 genotype does not seem to influence the disease status in prostate cancer.

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