Polymorphic variation in hOGG1 and risk of cancer: a review of the functional and epidemiologic literature

Mol Carcinog. 2005 Mar;42(3):127-41. doi: 10.1002/mc.20067.


The gene encoding human 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (hOGG1) is involved in DNA base excision repair. The encoded DNA glycosylase excises 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-OHdG), a highly mutagenic base produced in DNA as a result of exposure to reactive oxygen species (ROS). Polymorphisms in this gene may alter glycosylase function and an individual's ability to repair damaged DNA, possibly resulting in genetic instability that can foster carcinogenesis. In order to elucidate the possible impact of polymorphisms in hOGG1, we performed a literature review of both functional and epidemiologic studies that assessed the effects of these polymorphisms on repair function, levels of oxidative DNA damage, or associations with cancer risk. Fourteen functional studies and 19 epidemiologic studies of breast, colon, esophageal, head and neck, lung, nasopharyngeal, orolaryngeal, prostate, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), and stomach cancers were identified. Although the larger functional studies suggest reduced repair function with variant alleles in hOGG1, the evidence is generally inconclusive. There is some epidemiologic evidence that risk for esophageal, lung, nasopharyngeal, orolaryngeal, and prostate is related to hOGG1 genotype, whereas risk of breast cancer does not appear related. In studies that explored potential interactions with environmental factors, cancer risk for hOGG1 genotypes differed depending on exposure, especially for colon cancer. In summary, there is limited evidence that polymorphisms in hOGG1 affect repair function and carcinogenesis. Larger, well-designed functional and epidemiologic studies are needed to clarify these relationships, especially with respect to interactions with other DNA repair enzymes and interactions with environmental factors that increase carcinogenic load.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Glycosylases / genetics*
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*


  • DNA Glycosylases
  • oxoguanine glycosylase 1, human