Human acetylator genotype: relationship to colorectal cancer incidence and arylamine N-acetyltransferase expression in colon cytosol

Arch Toxicol. 1993;67(7):445-52. doi: 10.1007/BF01969914.


Polymorphic expression of arylamine N-acetyltransferase (EC may be a differential risk factor in metabolic activation of arylamine carcinogens and susceptibility to cancers related to arylamine exposures. Human epidemiological studies suggest that rapid acetylator phenotype may be associated with higher incidences of colorectal cancer. We used restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis to determine acetylator genotypes of 44 subjects with colorectal cancer and 28 non-cancer subjects of similar ethnic background (i.e., approximately 25% Black and 75% White). The polymorphic N-acetyltransferase gene (NAT2) was amplified by the polymerase chain reaction from DNA templates derived from human colons of colorectal and non-cancer subjects. No significant differences in NAT2 allelic frequencies (i.e., WT, M1, M2, M3 alleles) or in acetylator genotypes were found between the colorectal cancer and non-cancer groups. No significant differences in NAT2 allelic frequencies were observed between Whites and Blacks or between males and females. Cytosolic preparations from the human colons were tested for expression of arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity. Although N-acetyltransferase activity was expressed for each of the arylamines tested (i. e., p-aminobenzoic acid, 4-aminobiphenyl, 2-aminofluorene, beta-naphthylamine), no correlation was observed between acetylator genotype and expression of human colon arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity. Similarly, no correlation was observed between subject age and expression of human colon arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity. These results suggest that arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity expressed in human colon is catalyzed predominantly by NAT1, an arylamine N-acetyltransferase that is not regulated by NAT2 acetylator genotype.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Alleles
  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase / biosynthesis*
  • Base Sequence
  • Colon / enzymology*
  • Colon / ultrastructure
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cytosol / enzymology*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Risk Factors


  • Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase