Association of the glutathione s-transferase m1, t1 polymorphisms with cancer: evidence from a meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 8;8(11):e78707. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078707. eCollection 2013.


Background: Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a family of multifunctional enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of many xenobiotics, including a wide range of environmental carcinogens. While the null genotypes in GSTM1 and GSTT1 have been implicated in tumorigenesis, it remains inconsistent and inconclusive. Herein, we aimed to assess the possible associations of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 null genotype in cancer risks.

Methods: A meta-analysis based on 506 case-control studies was performed. Odds ratios (OR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the association.

Results: The null genotypes of GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms were associated with a significantly increased risk in cancer (for GSTM1: OR = 1.17; 95%CI = 1.14-1.21; for GSTT1: OR = 1.16; 95%CI = 1.11-1.21, respectively). When the analysis was performed based on their smoking history, the risk associated of GSTM1 null and GSTT1 null genotypes with cancer is further increased (for GSTM1: OR = 2.66; 95%CI = 2.19-3.24; for GSTT1: OR = 2.46; 95%CI = 1.83-3.32, respectively).

Conclusions: These findings indicate that GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms may play critical roles in the development of cancer, especially in smokers.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • glutathione S-transferase T1
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • glutathione S-transferase M1

Grant support

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 81270685). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.