Polymorphism at GSTM1, GSTM3 and GSTT1 gene loci and susceptibility to oral cancer in an Indian population

Carcinogenesis. 2002 May;23(5):803-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/23.5.803.


This study evaluates the influence of genetic polymorphism at GSTM1, GSTM3 and GSTT1 gene loci on oral cancer risk among Indians habituated to the use of, smokeless tobacco, bidi or cigarette. DNA extracted from white blood cells of 297 cancer patients and 450 healthy controls by the proteinase K phenol-chloroform extraction procedure were analyzed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses. Lifetime tobacco exposure was evaluated as a risk factor in relation to the polymorphism at the GST gene loci using logistic regression analysis. There was no significant difference in the distribution of the GSTM3 and GSTT1 genotypes between oral cancer patients and controls. In contrast, a significant 3-fold increase in risk was seen for patients with the GSTM1 null genotype (age adjusted OR = 3.2, 95% CI 2.4-4.3). The impact of the GSTM1 null genotype on oral cancer risk was also analyzed in separate groups of individuals with different tobacco habits. The odds ratio associated with the GSTM1 null genotype was 3.7 (95% CI 2.0-7.1) in tobacco chewers, 3.7 (5% CI 1.3-7.9) in bidi smokers and 5.7 (95% CI 2.0-16.3) in cigarette smokers. Furthermore, increased lifetime exposure to chewing tobacco appeared to be associated with a 2-fold increase in oral cancer risk in GSTM1 null individuals. The results suggest that the GSTM1 null genotype is a risk factor for development of oral cancer among Indian tobacco habitues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco


  • Isoenzymes
  • Glutathione Transferase