Journal Article

Molecular epidemiology of <i>VHL</i> gene mutations in renal cell carcinoma patients: relation to dietary and other factors

Kari Hemminki, Yongwen Jiang, Xin Ma, Ke Yang, Lars Egevad and Per Lindblad

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 23, issue 5, pages 809-815
Published in print May 2002 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/23.5.809
Molecular epidemiology of VHL gene mutations in renal cell carcinoma patients: relation to dietary and other factors

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Carcinogenic chemicals act through DNA damage and mitogenic effects. No established mechanism explains the cancer preventive effects, if any, of food items, such as vegetables and fruit. If such data were available, preferably on tumor-initiating genes, the evidence for the protective effects would become stronger. The von Hipple-Lindau (VHL) gene is the tumor suppressor gene predisposing to both sporadic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and von Hippel-Lindau disease. We have earlier analyzed VHL mutations in RCCs from 102 Swedish patients identified in a case-control study and here examine associations between patient characteristics, including dietary habits and mutations, considering the type of mutation. The results are given as odds ratios (OR), separately for smokers and all patients. In univariate analysis, consumption of vegetables and citrus fruit decreased the frequency of VHL mutations among smokers and citrus fruit among all patients. In multivariate analysis of smokers' characteristics, welding fumes showed a risk of 5.63 for multiple VHL mutations. In smokers, citrus fruit decreased the OR of GC to AT mutations to 0.13 and that of multiple mutations to 0.17; vegetables decreased the OR for single mutations to 0.22. Among all subjects, welding fumes were a risk factor and citrus fruit a protective factor. Additionally, an intake of selenium protected against multiple mutations. The present results provide evidence that the intake of vegetables, selenium and particularly of citrus fruit protects the renal VHL gene from mutational insults that may be endogenous or common in a population. Even though most of the associations are biologically plausible, and vegetables and fruit were an a priori hypothesis, fortuitous results cannot be ruled out in this relatively small study.

Keywords: BMI, body-mass index; 95% CI, 95% confidence intervals; OR, odds ratio; RRC, renal cell carcinoma; SSCP, single-strand conformation polymorphism; VHL, von Hipple-Lindau.

Journal Article.  5325 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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