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Genet Med. 2005 Sep;7(7):463-78.

NQO1, MPO, and the risk of lung cancer: a HuGE review.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi, Fukuoka, Japan.


The aim of this study is to summarize the available molecular epidemiologic studies of lung cancer and metabolic genes, such as NAD(P)H quinone reductase 1 (NQO1) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). NQO1 plays a dual role in the detoxification and activation of procarcinogens whereas MPO has Phase I activity by converting lipophilic carcinogens into hydrophilic forms. Variant genotypes of both NQO1 Pro187 Ser and MPO G-463A polymorphisms may be related to low enzyme activity. The Pro/Ser and Ser/Ser genotypes combined of NQO1 was significantly associated with decreased risk of lung cancer in Japanese [random effects odds ratio (OR) = 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.56-0.88] among whom the variant allele is common. The variant genotype of MPO was associated with decreased risk of lung cancer among Caucasians (random effects OR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.47-1.04). Gene-environment interactions in both polymorphisms may be hampered by inaccurate categorization of tobacco exposure. Evidence on gene-gene interactions is extremely limited. As lung cancer is a multifactorial disease, an improved understanding of such interactions may help identify individuals at risk for developing lung cancer. Such a study should include larger sample size and other polymorphisms in the metabolism of tobacco-derived carcinogens and address interactions with smoking status. The effects of polymorphisms are best represented by their haplotypes. In future studies on lung cancer, the development of haplotype-based approaches will facilitate the evaluation of haplotypic effects, either for selected polymorphisms physically close to each other or for multiple genes within the same drug-metabolism pathway.

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