Comparison of GSTM polymorphisms and risk for oral cancer between African-Americans and Caucasians

Jong Y. Park, Joshua E. Muscat, Tajinder Kaur, Stimson P. Schantz, Jordan C. Stern, John P. Richie, Philip Lazarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Two members of the mu class of glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes, GSTM1 and GSTM3, have polymorphic alleles which have been associated with altered levels of GST μ protein expression and may be linked to increased risk for several tobacco-related cancers. Oral cancer is a tobacco-related disease that affects African-American men at a significantly higher incidence than Caucasian men. To examine the potential role of GSTM polymorphisms in risk for oral cancer in African-Americans and Caucasians, the prevalences of the GSTM1 null and GSTM3 intron 6 polymorphisms were examined in 63 African-American and 101 Caucasian patients with histologically confirmed primary oral cancer, as well as in 133 African-American and 213 Caucasian matched control subjects. In African-Americans, the odds ratio for oral cancer associated with the GSTM1 (0/0) genotype was 3.1 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-8.5], with the association between the GSTM1 (0/0) genotype and oral cancer risk strongest in heavy smokers [i.e. > 24 pack-years; odds ratio (OR) = 5.4, 95% CI = 1.2-24]. Using the potentially most protective GSTM1 [+]/GSTM3 (B/B) genotype as the reference group, increased risk for oral cancer was observed in African-Americans with the GSTM1 [+]/GSTM3 [(A/A) + (A/B)] (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 0.82-6.0), GSTM1 (0/0)/GSTM3 (B/B) (OR = 4.3, 95% CI = 1.1-16), and GSTM1 (0/0)/GSTM3 [(A/A) + (A/B)] (OR = 6.6, 95% CI = 1.2-38) genotypes (P < 0.01, trend test). No significant associations were observed between GSTM genotype and oral cancer risk in Caucasians. These results suggest that the GSTM1 null and GSTM3 intron 6 polymorphisms play an important role in risk for oral cancer among African-Americans and implicates the mu class of GSTs as important tobacco carcinogen detoxifying enzymes in this population. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of GSTM polymorphisms and risk for oral cancer between African-Americans and Caucasians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this