GST profiling may be useful in the screening for thyroid nodule malignancy

Cancer Lett. 2004 Jun 25;209(2):129-37. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2003.12.013.


Screening tools are of utmost necessity in order to identify individuals at risk for thyroid nodule cancer. The polymorphic inheritance of human drug-metabolizing enzymes, such as those encoded by the Glutathione-S-Transferase (GST) system, plays an important role in the development of most human cancers. GSTP1 enzyme is the most important detoxification enzyme in human head and neck tissues. An aminoacid substitution (1105V) in the GSTP1 gene result in two genotypes, GSTP1AB and GSTP1BB. Those produce a variant enzyme with lower activity and less capability of effective detoxification of carcinogens than the wild type GSTP1AA. In order to look for the influence of GSTP1 enzymes inheritance pattern on thyroid cancer risk we used a PCR-SSCP-sequencing approach to compare the genotypes of 98 malignant nodules, including 77 papillary carcinomas (PC) and 21 follicular carcinomas (FC), to 44 benign nodules and to 157 healthy control individuals. Individuals with history of previous thyroid disease, exposure to radiation and antecedents of malignancy were excluded. Patients with PC and FC showed a significant over-representation of the variants of GSTP1 allele compared to the control population (p < 0.0001 The risk for thyroid cancer in individuals with the variant GSTP1 enzymes, after adjusting for gender, age, tobacco and drugs use, increased 7,092 (CI: 2,307-21,802) and 9,625 (CI: 2.484-37.291) times for PC and FC, respectively. We suggest that GST genotype may be associated with an increased susceptibility to thyroid cancer. GSTP1 profiling from peripheral blood may be a simple and useful tool in the screening for thyroid nodule malignancy. Glutathione-S-Transferase system; GSTP; Thyroid cancer; Screening.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / enzymology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / enzymology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Thyroid Nodule / enzymology*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Isoenzymes
  • GSTP1 protein, human
  • Glutathione S-Transferase pi
  • Glutathione Transferase