Role of monoamine-oxidase-A-gene Variation in the Development of Glioblastoma in Males: A Case Control Study

J Neurooncol. 2019 Nov;145(2):287-294. doi: 10.1007/s11060-019-03294-w. Epub 2019 Sep 25.


Background: The Mono-amine oxidase-A (MAO-A) enzyme is involved in the degradation and regulation of catecholamines such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. Preclinical studies suggest that this enzyme may contribute to an environment favorable for growth of malignant glioma. The MAO-A gene is located on the X-chromosome and has at least one functional genetic polymorphism. The aim of the present study was to explore possible effects of MAO-A genotype on development of glioblastoma in males.

Methods: Genotypes for 437 glioma cases and 876 population-based controls from the Swedish Glioma International Case-Control study (GICC) were compared. We analyzed the germline DNA using the Illumina Oncoarray. We selected seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in the MAO-A gene, and imputed genotypes based on data from the 1000 genomes project. We used 1579 male glioblastoma cases and 1875 controls comprising the whole GICC cohort for subsequent validation of findings.

Results: The rs144551722 SNP was a significant predictor of development of glioblastoma in males (p-value = 0.0056) but not in females even after correction for multiple testing. We conducted haplotype analysis to confirm an association between MAO-A gene and risk of glioblastoma (p-value = 0.016). We found similar results in the validation sample.

Conclusions: These results suggest the possibility of a role for the MAO-A enzyme and the MAO-A gene in the development of glioblastoma in males.

Keywords: MAOA genetics glioblastoma males.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Glioblastoma / enzymology
  • Glioblastoma / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Young Adult


  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • monoamine oxidase A, human