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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2000 Jul;9(7):675-80.

Cytochrome P450 2E1 polymorphism in gastric cancer in Brazil: case-control studies of Japanese Brazilians and non-Japanese Brazilians.

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Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.


Cytochrome P450 2E1 (Cyp2E1) is involved in the metabolic oxidation of carcinogenic nitroso compounds, including N-nitrosoamines. There is an RsaI polymorphism in the transcriptional regulatory region of this gene, and in vitro evidence suggests that the variant type of this polymorphic site has higher transcriptional activity but less chlorzoxazone-metabolizing activity. Interindividual differences in the metabolic capacity of Cyp2E1 are assumed to be associated with cancer susceptibility, but the results of the previous studies on the relation between Cyp2E1 RsaI polymorphism and cancer susceptibility have been inconsistent. Two case-control studies of gastric cancer in Japanese Brazilians (96 cases, 192 controls) and Brazilians not of Japanese ancestry (non-Japanese Brazilians; 236 cases, 236 controls) in São Paulo were designed to clarify the role of the Cyp2E1 RsaI genotype in susceptibility to gastric cancer after considering multifactorial environmental influences. The subjects with variant RsaI genotypes amounted to 47% (28 of 59) and 48% (64 of 133), respectively, of the Japanese cases and controls, and 6% (11 of 187) and 10% (19 of 192), respectively, of the non-Japanese cases and controls. As expected, a difference in the distributions of the two groups was observed. The odds ratio of the RsaI variant genotype of Cyp2E1 was 0.46 (95% confidence interval, 0.21-1.04) in the non-Japanese Brazilian population and 0.98 (95% confidence interval, 0.50-1.90) in the Japanese Brazilian population after adjusting for sex, age, tobacco use, and meat consumption. Additional adjustment for potential confounding factors did not change the odds ratio substantially. No significant interactions were observed between the polymorphism and environmental factors. In regard to the histological type of gastric cancer, the variant genotype was significantly more prevalent than the common genotype in Japanese subjects with diffuse type gastric cancer. Our study suggests that the Cyp2E1 RsaI polymorphism is associated with a reduced risk of gastric cancer, although how the assumed increase in Cyp2E1 expression produced by this polymorphism is related to a reduced risk of cancer remains unclear. The observations in this study are consistent with the recent observations of esophageal cancer in endemic areas of China.

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