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Glutathione S-transferase M1 genotype affects aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin adduct levels in white, black and Asian smokers and nonsmokers.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


Cigarette smoking is the major cause of bladder cancer in men in the United States, and the arylamines contained in cigarettes smoke, including 4-amino-biphenyl (4-ABP), are believed to play an important role in the induction of bladder cancer among smokers. N-acetylation, which is catalyzed by the genetically controlled hepatic N-acetyltransferase enzyme displaying two phenotypes (slow versus rapid), is a detoxification pathway for arylamines with regard to bladder carcinogenesis. In Los Angeles, CA, non-Hispanic white (white), black, and Asian males have comparable smoking habits and yet dramatically different risks of bladder cancer (31 of 100,000 in whites, 16 of 100,000 in blacks, and 13 of 100,000 in Chinese and Japanese). Previously, we have demonstrated that the prevalence of slow acetylators (the high-risk phenotype) was highest in whites (54%), intermediate in blacks (34%), and lowest in Asians (14%). We also showed that mean 3- and 4-ABP hemoglobin adduct levels were significantly higher in cigarette smokers relative to nonsmokers, and that the level increased with increasing number of cigarettes smoke/day. Most importantly, slow acetylators consistently exhibited higher mean levels of ABP hemoglobin adducts relative to rapid acetylators, regardless of race and level of cigarette smoking. We assessed 151 residents of Los Angeles County (CA) who were either white, black, or Asian (Chinese or Japanese) and over the age of 30 years for their glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) genotype (null versus non-null), acetylator phenotype (slow versus rapid), levels of 3- and 4-ABP hemoglobin adducts, and current use of tobacco products. Whites (27%) had the highest prevalence of the highest risk profile (slow acetylator, GSTM1 null), followed by blacks (15%) and Asians (2.7%), and the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.006). Whites also had less than one-half the prevalence of the "protective" profile (rapid acetylator, GSTM1 non-null) relative to blacks and Asians (23 versus 57%; P = 0.0001). Regardless of race and level of cigarette smoking, mean levels of 3- and 4-ABP hemoglobin adducts were higher in subjects possessing the higher risk (GSTM1/acetylator profile. Mean level of 4-ABP hemoglobin adduct (adjusting for race, cigarette smoking, and acetylator phenotype) was significantly higher in subjects possessing the GSTM1-null versus GSTM1-non-null genotype (46.5 versus 36.0 pg/g Hb; P = 0.037). The comparable difference in mean levels of 3-ABP hemoglobin adduct was borderline significant (1.6 versus 1.1 pg/g Hb; P = 0.07). Thus, our results suggest that GSTM1 is involved in the detoxification of 3- and 4-ABP and may contribute to the racial variation in bladder cancer incidence among white, black, and Asian males in Los Angeles, CA.

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