The impact of glutathione s-transferase M1 and cytochrome P450 1A1 genotypes on white-blood-cell polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adduct levels in humans

Mol Carcinog. 1995 Sep;14(1):63-8. doi: 10.1002/mc.2940140111.


Carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) form DNA adducts via a complex metabolic activation pathway that includes cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1, whereas intermediate metabolites can be detoxified by conjugation through pathways including glutathione s-transferase M1 (GSTM1). PAH-DNA adducts can be measured in peripheral white blood cells (WBCs) and should reflect the net effect of competing activation and detoxification pathways and DNA repair as well as exposure. We have previously shown that WBC PAH-DNA adducts measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were associated with recent, frequent consumption of charbroiled food among 47 nonsmoking wildland fire-fighters who provided two blood samples 8 wk apart. In the investigation reported here, which was performed in the same population, we measured the association between the GSTM1 null genotype, which results in loss of enzyme activity, and PAH-DNA adduct levels, hypothesizing that subjects with this genotype would have higher levels of DNA adducts because of their decreased ability to detoxify PAH metabolites. However, PAH-DNA adduct levels were nonsignificantly lower in subjects with the GSTM1 null genotype (n = 28) compared with other subjects (n = 19) (median 0.04 fmol/microgram DNA vs 0.07 fmol/microgram DNA, respectively, P = 0.45, Wilcoxon rank-sum test). Adduct levels were also lower in the nine subjects heterozygous or homozygous for the CYP1A1 exon 7 polymorphism (which codes for a valine rather than isoleucine and is thought to be associated with greater CYP1A1 activity) compared with the 38 wild-type subjects (P = 0.12). In the entire group, there was a positive association between consuming charbroiled food and PAH-DNA adduct formation (r = 0.24, P = 0.02, Spearman rank-order correlation). This association was weaker in the subgroup of subjects with the GSTM1 null genotype (r = 0.03, P = 0.84) and stronger among the remaining subjects (r = 0.57, P = 0.0002). These results suggest that the GSTM1 null genotype and CYP1A1 exon 7 polymorphism are not associated with increased susceptibility for PAH-DNA adduct formation in peripheral WBCs measured by ELISA in nonsmoking populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cooking
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics*
  • DNA Adducts / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Exons
  • Fires*
  • Genotype
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Meat
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / blood*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / metabolism*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • DNA Adducts
  • Isoenzymes
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons-DNA adduct
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Glutathione Transferase