Background: Pathways involved in androgen metabolism have been implicated in the etiology of prostate cancer. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of CYP3A4, a gene associated with the oxidative deactivation of testosterone, on the clinical presentation of prostate cancers.
Methods: A polymerase chain reaction-based approach was used to identify sequence variants of the human CYP3A4 gene. To ascertain whether allelic variants of the CYP3A4 gene were associated with tumor stage and grade and age of the patient at diagnosis, we determined CYP3A4 genotypes in 230 Caucasian men with incident prostate cancer.
Results: We identified a novel genetic variant (CYP3A4-V) that has an altered 5' regulatory element, containing an A to G mutation, upstream of the CYP3A4 gene. We then compared clinical characteristics of prostate cancers in men who did and did not carry this variant. The presence of the CYP3A4-V allele was associated with a higher tumor-lymph node-metastasis (TNM) stage and Gleason grade. The association between CYP3A4 genotype and tumor stage was most pronounced in men diagnosed at a relatively old age who reported no family history of prostate cancer. In this group, 46% of men with stage T3/T4 tumors carried CYP3A4-V, whereas only 5% of individuals with stage T1 tumors carried CYP3A4-V (adjusted odds ratio = 9.45; 95% confidence interval = 2.54-35.17; chi2(1) = 12.28; two-sided P<.001).
Conclusions: We determined that a single base change in the 5' flanking region of the CYP3A4 gene was associated with higher clinical stage and grade in men with prostate tumors. Our results suggest that mutations in the CYP3A4 gene may influence prostate carcinogenesis.