GST, NAT, SULT1A1, CYP1B1 genetic polymorphisms, interactions with environmental exposures and bladder cancer risk in a high-risk population

Int J Cancer. 2004 Jul 1;110(4):598-604. doi: 10.1002/ijc.20157.


Tobacco smoking and occupation are major risk factors of bladder cancer via exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aromatic amines. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) M1, T1 and P1 are involved in the detoxification of PAH reactive metabolites. Two N-acetyltransferase isozymes, NAT2 and NAT1, have major roles in catalyzing the N-acetylation and O-acetylation of aromatic amines. Cytochrome p450 1B1 (CYP1B1) and sulfotransferase 1A1 (SULT1A1) are also involved in the metabolism of PAHs and aromatic amines. It is hypothesized that the genetic polymorphisms of these metabolic enzymes have an effect on the individual susceptibility to bladder cancer in particular by interacting with relevant environmental exposures. A hospital-based case-control study among men in Brescia, Northern Italy recruited 201 incidence cases and 214 controls from 1997-2000. Occupational exposures were blindly coded by occupational physicians. Genotyping of polymorphisms were carried out with PCR-RFLP method. Unconditional multivariate logistic regression was applied to model the association between genetic polymorphisms and bladder cancer risk. Effect modifications by age of onset, smoking and occupational exposures to PAHs and aromatic amines were evaluated. We also conducted an analysis of interaction between genetic factors. GSTM1 and GSTT1 null genotype were associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.69 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11-2.56) and 1.74 (95% CI = 1.02-2.95), respectively. The effect of GSTM1 null was seen particularly in heavy smokers, and there was a combined effect with occupational exposure of aromatic amines (OR = 2.77, 95% CI = 1.08-7.10). We observed a trend (p-value < 0.01) of increasing cancer risk comparing subjects with normal GSTM1 and T1 activity to subjects with one (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.16-2.85) or both null genotypes (OR = 2.58, 95% CI = 1.27-5.23). NAT2 slow acetylator was associated with marginally increased risk of bladder cancer (OR = 1.50, 95% CI = 0.99-2.27), and the OR for the joint effect with occupational exposure of aromatic amines was 3.26 (95% CI = 1.06-9.95). SULT1A1 Arg213His polymorphism showed a marginal protective effect. These findings suggest that individual susceptibility to bladder cancer may be modulated by GSTM1, GSTT1 and NAT2 polymorphisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / genetics
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Arylsulfotransferase / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics


  • Isoenzymes
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • CYP1B1 protein, human
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1B1
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase
  • N-acetyltransferase 1
  • NAT2 protein, human
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • SULT1A1 protein, human