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Am J Hum Genet. 1996 Jul;59(1):128-34.

Chronic hepatitis B carriers with null genotypes of glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 polymorphisms who are exposed to aflatoxin are at increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Institute of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.


This study was carried out to elucidate the effect of glutathione S-transferase (GST) Ml and Tl polymorphisms on the aflatoxin-related hepatocarcinogenesis among chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). A total of 32 newly diagnosed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases and 73 age-matched controls selected from a cohort of 4,841 chronic HBsAg carriers who had been followed for 5 years were studied. The level of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-albumin adducts in their serum samples collected at the recruitment was examined by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbance assay, and genotypes of GST M1 and T1 were determined by PCR. There was a dose-response relationship between serum level of AFB1-albumin adducts and risk of HCC. The biological gradients between serum AFB1-albumin adducts level and HCC risk were observed among chronic HBsAg carriers who had null genotypes of GST M1 and/or T1 but not among those who had non-null genotypes. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of developing HCC for those who had low and high serum levels of AFB1-albumin adducts compared with those who had a undetectable adduct level as the referent (odds ratio = 1.0) were 4.1 and 12.4, respectively, for HBsAg carriers with null GST M1 genotype (P < .01, on the basis of the significance test for trend); 0.7 and 1.4 for those with non-null GST Ml genotype (P = .98); 1.8 and 10.2 for those with null GST T1 genotype (P < .05); and 1.3 and 0.8 for those with non-null GST T1 genotype (P = .93). The interaction between serum AFB1-albumin adduct level and polymorphisms of GST M1 and T1 was at marginal statistical significance levels (.05 < P < .10).

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