Glutathione S-transferase M3 (A/A) genotype as a risk factor for oral cancer and leukoplakia among Indian tobacco smokers

Int J Cancer. 2004 Mar;109(1):95-101. doi: 10.1002/ijc.11610.


Polymorphism in glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes, causing variations in enzyme activities, may influence susceptibility to oral cancer and leukoplakia in smokers and/or smokeless tobacco users. In this case-control study consisting of 109 leukoplakia and 256 oral cancer patients and 259 controls, genotype frequencies at GSTM1, GSTT1, GSTM3 and GSTP1 loci were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism methods and analyzed by multiple logistic regression to determine the risks of the diseases. There were no significant differences in the distributions of GSTM1, GSTM3 and GSTT1 genotypes in patients and controls when all individuals were compared. In contrast, frequencies of ile/ile genotype at codon 105 and variant val-ala haplotype of GSTP1 was significantly higher (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.0-2.0) and lower (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.0-1.9) in oral cancer patients compare to controls, respectively. The impacts of all genotypes on risks of oral cancer and leukoplakia were also analyzed in patients with different tobacco habits and doses. Increased risks of cancer and leukoplakia were observed in tobacco smokers with GSTM3 (A/A) genotype (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.0-4.0; OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.0-4.4, respectively). So, GSTM3 (A/A) genotype could become one of the markers to know which of the leukoplakia would be transformed into cancer. Heavy tobacco chewing (> 124 chewing-year) increased the risk of cancer in individuals with GSTT1 homozygous null genotype (OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.0-9.8). Furthermore, increased lifetime exposure to tobacco smoking (> 11.5 pack-year) increased the risk of leukoplakia in individuals with GSTM1 homozygous null genotype (OR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.0-5.7). It may be suggested that polymorphisms in GSTP1, GSTM1, GSTM3 and GSTT1 genes regulate risk of cancer and leukoplakia differentially among different tobacco habituals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Codon
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Haplotypes
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • India
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Leukoplakia / diagnosis
  • Leukoplakia / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Time Factors


  • Codon
  • Isoenzymes
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • glutathione transferase M3-3