Mitochondrial DNA G10398A polymorphism imparts maternal Haplogroup N a risk for breast and esophageal cancer

Cancer Lett. 2007 May 8;249(2):249-55. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2006.09.005. Epub 2006 Nov 1.


Mitochondria are the major source of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and mtDNA G10398A (Ala-->Thr) polymorphism, proposed to be involved in increased ROS production, has been shown in association with invasive breast cancer in African-American (AA) women [J.A. Canter, A.R. Kallianpur, F.F. Parl, R.C. Millikan, Mitochondrial DNA G10398A polymorphism and invasive breast cancer in African-American women, Cancer Res. 65 (2005) 8028-8033] and prostate cancer in AA men [M.P. Mims, T.G. Hayes, S. Zheng, S.M. Leal, A. Frolov, M.M. Ittmann, et al., Mitochondrial DNA G10398A polymorphism and invasive breast cancer in African-American women, Cancer Res. 66 (2006) 1880; author reply 1880-1881]. The role of mitochondria, however, in cancer development has been in question recently [A. Salas, Y.G. Yao, V. Macaulay, A. Vega, A. Carracedo, H.J. Bandelt, A critical reassessment of the role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis, PLoS Med. 2 (2005) e296], which has made it pertinent to analyze the data and test the hypotheses by conducting fresh case-control studies. This study, therefore, makes an attempt to validate the exclusive presence of mtG10398A (Ala-->Thr) polymorphism in a haplotype constituting mtDNA haplogroup N and its sublineages, imparting this group a higher risk for breast cancer, based on the re-analyses of approximately 1000 complete human mtDNA sequences worldwide and collated information on 2334 individuals belonging to 18 regions in India. The conclusion drawn of mt10398A allele providing a risk towards cancer is confirmed in a case-control comparison study of 124 sporadic breast cancer patients and 273 controls; and 55 squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus, ESCC, and 163 controls, matched for age, ethnicity and sex from north India. It is further apparent from the study that such a mtDNA polymorphism background provides a higher risk for the cancers of the tissues which could be affected by environmental insults directly as in the ESCC, observed with a high acquired (somatic) rate of mutation in p53 when compared to the breast cancer, suggesting that the mtDNA variants that arose as energetic adaptations, influence our health differentially under different environment conditions and a given genetic background of the mt genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • DNA, Mitochondrial