A case-control study investigating the role of sulfotransferase 1A1 polymorphism in head and neck cancer

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2006 Jul;132(7):466-72. doi: 10.1007/s00432-006-0093-9. Epub 2006 Mar 31.


Purpose: Sulfotransferases (SULT) 1A1 detoxify and bio-activate a broad spectrum of substrates including xenobiotics. The SULT1A1 gene possesses a G-->A polymorphism that results in an Arg to His substitution at codon 213, with the His allele having a low activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether SULT1A1 Arg213His polymorphisms are risk factors for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCCHN).

Methods: A total of 124 consecutive primary SCCHN patients and 249 age- and sex-matched hospital controls were enrolled in this study. Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes and genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP. A comprehensive epidemiological interview was conducted on all participants to collect their lifestyle data.

Results: The His/His frequencies in cases and controls were 6.5% (8/123) and 3.6% (9/247), respectively (P=0.049). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed a significant association of SCCHN and His/His genotype (OR=3.60; 95% CI=1.01-12.88). This association was stronger amongst older people, alcohol and low fruit consumers. The resulted SULT1A1 His/His genotype also associated with a higher risk of neck node positive status (OR=5.82; 95% CI=1.10-30.68).

Conclusions: These preliminary findings show for the first time that the SULT1A1 His (213) allele is a possible risk factor for head and neck cancer development.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine
  • Alleles
  • Arginine
  • Arylsulfotransferase / blood
  • Arylsulfotransferase / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Codon
  • Female
  • Guanine
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Histidine
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors


  • Codon
  • Histidine
  • Guanine
  • Arginine
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • SULT1A1 protein, human
  • Adenine