Common germline MDR1/ABCB1 functional polymorphisms and haplotypes modify susceptibility to colorectal cancers with high microsatellite instability

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2008 May;183(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cancergencyto.2008.01.023.


Altered expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) encoded by the multidrug resistance (MDR1/ABCB1) gene, as well as somatic mutations and hypermethylation in the MDR1/ABCB1 gene, were identified in a proportion of previously untreated colorectal cancers (CRC) exhibiting high microsatellite instability (MSI-H), which suggested that MDR1/ABCB1 acts as a candidate gene contributing to the initiation and progression of MSI-H tumors. Here we report germline functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes in the MDR1/ABCB1 gene, which could contribute to genetic risk or increase susceptibility to MSI-H cancers. We have confirmed disease association by comparing the MDR1/ABCB1 genotype, allele, and haplotype frequencies between healthy controls and patients with MSI-H tumors. In particular, carriers of the T/T genotype in exon 12 (1236 C-->T) SNP and the T/T genotype in exon 21 (2677G-->T) SNP were most significantly associated with a higher risk for developing MSI-H CRC compared to controls (P=0.01, OR=3.182 and P=0.005, OR=3.594, respectively). The most significant MSI-H-associated risk haplotypes include the most frequent haplotype H1 (T-C-T-T) defined by SNPs in exon 12, intron 13 (rs2235035), exon 21, and exon 26 (3435 C-->T; P=0.004, OR= 0.476). Our results suggest that ABCB1/MDR1 is a novel low-penetrance gene for susceptibility to MSI-H tumors. The present study provides additional evidence for the role that the MDR1/ABCB1 gene plays in the initiation and progression of MSI-H CRC development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Microsatellite Instability*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*


  • ABCB1 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1