Journal Article

Green tea intake, <i>ACE</i> gene polymorphism and breast cancer risk among Chinese women in Singapore

Jian-Min Yuan, Woon-Puay Koh, Can-Lan Sun, Hin-Peng Lee and Mimi C. Yu

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 26, issue 8, pages 1389-1394
Published in print August 2005 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgi080
Green tea intake, ACE gene polymorphism and breast cancer risk among Chinese women in Singapore

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Experimental and epidemiological data have implicated a potential chemoprotective role of green tea polyphenols and a potential enhancing role of angiotensin II in the development of breast cancer in humans. Angiotensin II is converted from its precursor by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Women with low-activity genotype of the ACE gene had a reduced risk of breast cancer compared with those possessing high-activity ACE genotype. Experimental data showed that green tea polyphenols could inhibit angiotensin II-induced reactive oxygen species production. We reasoned that if this is one of the mechanisms by which green tea polyphenols protect against human breast cancer, then their effect should be more prominent among women possessing high-activity ACE genotype than women with low-activity ACE genotype. In other words, we predict a stronger inverse green tea–breast cancer association among the former versus the latter subgroup of women. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a nested case–control study involving 297 incident breast cancer cases and 665 control subjects within the Singapore Chinese Health Study. There was no association between intake frequencies of green tea and risk of breast cancer among all women or those with low-activity ACE genotype. Among women with high-activity ACE genotype, however, intake frequency of green tea was associated with a statistically significant decrease in risk of breast cancer (P for trend = 0.039); the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) was 0.33 (0.13–0.82) for women drinking green tea at least monthly and 0.29 (0.10–0.79) for those drinking green tea at least weekly compared with non-drinkers. There was a statistically significant interaction effect between green tea intake and ACE genotype on risk of breast cancer (P for interaction = 0.01). Black tea intake was unrelated to breast cancer risk irrespective of the ACE genotype. The findings of the present study highlight the importance of genetically determined factors in evaluating the role of green tea intake in the development of breast cancer.

Keywords: ACE, angiotensin-converting enzyme; CI, confidence interval; COMT, catechol-O-methyltransferase; EGCG, epigallocatechin-3 gallate; OR, odds ratio; ROS, reactive oxygen species; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor

Journal Article.  4945 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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