Journal Article

Gene–environment interaction between an aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) polymorphism and alcohol consumption for the risk of esophageal cancer

Keitaro Matsuo, Nobuyuki Hamajima, Masayuki Shinoda, Shunzo Hatooka, Manami Inoue, Toshiro Takezaki and Kazuo Tajima

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 6, pages 913-916
Published in print June 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/22.6.913
Gene–environment interaction between an aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) polymorphism and alcohol consumption for the risk of esophageal cancer

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Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) degrades acetaldehyde metabolized from ethanol. Its encoding gene ALDH2 has a functional polymorphism: ALDH2 Glu487Lys. An association between this polymorphism and esophageal cancer among alcoholics has been reported. To further evaluate the gene–environment interaction, a hospital-based case–control study was conducted. Cases were 102 patients with histologically confirmed esophageal cancer and controls were 241 non-cancer outpatients of Aichi Cancer Center. ALDH2 genotypes were examined by a PCR–CTPP method developed in our laboratory, which does not require a digestion stage. Logistic regression analysis was employed for estimation of relative risk and gene–environment interaction. The allele frequency for ALDH2 Lys487 was 0.28, consistent with previous reports. The age, sex, smoking and drinking status adjusted odds ratio for the ALDH2 Glu/Lys and Lys/Lys genotypes as compared with the Glu/Glu genotype was 3.43 (95% CI 1.74–6.75). The odds ratio for heavy drinking was 49.6 (14.5–169.4) among Lys487 carriers and 7.84 (2.77–22.2) for the Glu/Glu genotype. The gene–environment interaction between alcohol drinking and the ALDH2 Lys487 allele was 6.84 (2.39–19.6), whereas no significant interaction was obtained with smoking status. Although limited because of its prevalent case–control design, our study revealed a strong gene–environment interaction between ALDH2 polymorphism and heavy alcohol consumption. Taking the observed high risk of esophageal cancer in association with the ALDH2 Lys487 allele into consideration, reducing alcohol intake may be most protective among Lys487 allele carriers of this polymorphism.

Keywords: ALDH2, aldehyde dehydrogenase-2; CI, confidence interval; OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  2657 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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