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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Feb;13(2):270-6.

Association of SULT1A1 phenotype and genotype with prostate cancer risk in African-Americans and Caucasians.

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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.


Exposure to heterocyclic amines may increase prostate cancer risk. Human sulfotransferase 1A1 (SULT1A1) is involved in the bioactivation of some dietary procarcinogens, including the N-hydroxy metabolite of the food-borne heterocyclic amine, 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b) pyridine. This study compares a polymorphism in the SULT1A1 gene, SULT1A1 enzyme activity, meat consumption, and the risk of prostate cancer in a population based case-control study. Prostate cancer patients (n = 464) and control individuals (n = 459), frequency matched on age and ethnicity, provided informed consent, answered a survey, and provided a blood sample. Platelets were isolated for phenotype analysis, and DNA was isolated from lymphocytes for genotype determination. Meat consumption was assessed using a dietary questionnaire. Caucasians homozygous for the SULT1A1*1 high activity allele were at increased risk for prostate cancer [odds ratio (OR), 1.68; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.05-2.68] compared with individuals homozygous for the low-activity allele. The association between SULT1A1 genotype and prostate cancer risk in African-Americans did not reach significance (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 0.46-5.62). When SULT1A1 activity was considered, there was a strong association between increased SULT1A1 activity and prostate cancer risk in Caucasians (OR, 3.04; 95% CI, 1.8-5.1 and OR, 4.96; 95% CI, 3.0-8.3, for the second and third tertiles of SULT1A1 activity, respectively) compared with individuals in the low enzyme activity tertile. A similar association was also found in African-American patients, with ORs of 6.7 and 9.6 for the second and third tertiles of SULT1A1 activity (95% CI, 2.1-21.3 and 2.9-31.3, respectively). When consumption of well-done meat was considered, there was increased risk of prostate cancer (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.01-1.99 and OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.20-2.36 for the second and third tertiles, respectively). When SULT1A1 activity was stratified by tertiles of meat consumption, there was greater risk of prostate cancer in the highest tertile of meat consumption. These results indicate that variations in SULT1A1 activity contributes to prostate cancer risk and the magnitude of the association may differ by ethnicity and be modified by meat consumption.

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