, Volume 131, Issue 7, pp 439-444
Date: 10 May 2005

Polymorphism in the manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) gene and risk of breast cancer in young women

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Purpose: Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) is one of the major enzymes implicated in the cellular defence against reactive oxygen species. Low expression of MnSOD has been observed in different cancer tissues and several reports have shown that overexpression of MnSOD inhibits growth in various human cancer cells. These observations suggest that MnSOD is involved in carcinogenesis. A polymorphism (Ala-9Val) in the mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS) of the MnSOD gene has been proposed to affect protein localization and thereby influence cellular defence against superoxide radicals. Methods: In the present case-control study, including 118 early onset breast cancer patients (≤36 years) and 174 age-matched controls, the MTS polymorphism and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the locus of MnSOD were analysed. Results: We found that individuals with MnSODVal/Val and MnSODVal/Ala genotypes showed an increased risk of breast cancer (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 2.2–5.5, p=0.01, OR, 3.0; 95%CI, 1.4–6.5, p=0.002). Moreover, 45% of the informative cases expressed allelic loss at the chromosomal locus of the MnSOD gene. No correlation was found between LOH and the genotype. Conclusion: The present study suggests that MnSOD may be implicated in breast carcinogenesis in young women.