Thymidylate synthase (TS) regulates the production of DNA synthesis precursors and is an important target of cancer chemotherapy. A tandem repeat sequence in a TS promoter enhancer region (TSER) was recently identified. Polymorphic variation affected in vitro expression levels of the gene. We evaluated the influence of ethnicity on TSER genotype. Allele frequency was similar in Caucasian and Southwest Asian subjects. However, homozygous triple repeat subjects were twice as common in Chinese subjects (67%) than in Caucasian subjects (38%). This demonstrates significant ethnic variation in a TS gene regulatory element which may have significant impact on pyrimidine homeostasis and drug therapy.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.