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Urol Oncol. 2013 Oct;31(7):1184-92. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2011.08.005.

GSTA1, GSTM1, GSTP1, and GSTT1 polymorphisms and susceptibility to smoking-related bladder cancer: a case-control study.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Institute of Medical and Clinical Biochemistry, Belgrade, Serbia.



Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a family of enzymes involved in detoxification. Genes encoding for GSTA1, GSTM1, GSTP1, and GSTT1 proteins are polymorphic, which can result in complete or partial loss of enzyme activity. Previous studies have associated polymorphisms of GSTA1, GSTM1, and GSTP1 genes with a higher risk of bladder cancer, but this is still controversial. Potential role of GSTA1 polymorphism in susceptibility to bladder cancer in Whites is lacking. We examined association between GSTA1, GSTM1, GSTP1, and GSTT1 gene variants and bladder cancer risk and evaluated whether they were modified by smoking.


A hospital-based case-control study recruited 201 incidence cases and 122 age-matched controls. Deletion polymorphism of GSTM1 and GSTT1 was identified by polymerase chain reaction method. Single nucleotide polymorphism of GSTA1 and GSTP1 was identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Uniconditional multivariate logistic regression was applied to model association between genetic polymorphisms and bladder cancer risk, as well as effect modification by smoking.


No significant difference was observed in the distributions of GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTA1, and GSTP1 gene variants between patients and controls. None of the examined polymorphisms was significantly associated with bladder cancer risk independently. The results of gene-smoking interaction analyses indicated a significant combined effect of smoking and all common GST polymorphisms tested (P for trend = 0.001). However, the most significant effect on bladder cancer risk was observed in smokers carrying lower activity GSTA1-AB/BB and GSTM-null genotype (OR = 3.5, P < 0.05) compared with GSTA1-AA and GSTM1-active non-smokers. Overall, the risk observed did not significantly differ with respect to quantity of cigarettes smoked. However, heavy smokers with GSTM1-null genotype had 2 times higher risk of bladder cancer than GSTM1-null light smokers (OR = 4.8 vs. OR = 2.0) when GSTM1-active non-smokers served as reference group. Smokers carrying both GSTM1-null and GSTA1-AB + BB genotypes exhibited the highest risk of bladder cancer (OR = 2.00, P = 0.123).


Null or low-activity genotypes of the GSTA1, GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 did not contribute independently towards the risk of bladder cancer in our patients. However, in association with smoking, both low activity GSTA1 and GSTM1-null genotype increase individual susceptibility to bladder cancer.


Bladder cancer; Glutathione S-transferase (GST); Polymorphism; Smoking

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