Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 6647–6652 | Cite as

Combinations of FUT2 gene polymorphisms and environmental factors are associated with oral cancer risk

  • Kuo-Jung Su
  • Chuan-Chen Ho
  • Chiao-Wen Lin
  • Mu-Kuan Chen
  • Shih-Chi Su
  • Yung-Luen Yu
  • Shun-Fa Yang
Original Article


In humans, fucosyltransferase-2 (FUT2) plays an important role in α1,2- linkage of fucose and participates in complex cellular processes such as fertilization, embryogenesis, and immune responses. However, little information is available concerning the FUT2 expression in tumorigenesis. The aim of this work was to investigate the combined effect of FUT2 gene polymorphisms and exposure to environmental carcinogens on the susceptibility and clinic pathological characteristics of oral cancer. Four SNPs of the FUT2 gene (rs281377, rs1047781, rs601338, and rs602662) from 1200 non-cancer controls and 700 oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The samples were further analyzed to clarify the associations between these gene polymorphisms and the risk of OSCC, and the impact of these SNPs on the susceptibility and clinic pathological characteristics of OSCC. After adjusting for other covariant, we observed that betel quid chewing among 1255 smokers who carrying at least one C genotype (TC and CC) at rs281377 and least one T genotype (TA and TT) at rs1047781 were exhibited synergistic effects of environmental factors (betel quid and cigarette use) on the susceptibility of oral cancer. Taken together, our results support gene–environment interactions of FUT2 polymorphisms with smoking and betel quid chewing habits possibly altering oral cancer susceptibility. Furthermore, to our knowledge, this is the first study of association between FUT2 gene variants and OSCC risk.


Oral cancer Fucosyltransferase-2 Single-nucleotide polymorphisms 



This study was supported by funding from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST103 2320-B-039-052-MY3; MOST104-2321-B-039-005), and National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (NHRI-EX102-10245BI).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kuo-Jung Su
    • 1
  • Chuan-Chen Ho
    • 2
    • 3
  • Chiao-Wen Lin
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mu-Kuan Chen
    • 5
    • 6
  • Shih-Chi Su
    • 7
  • Yung-Luen Yu
    • 1
    • 8
    • 9
  • Shun-Fa Yang
    • 5
    • 10
  1. 1.The Ph.D. Program for Cancer Biology and Drug DiscoveryChina Medical University and Academia SinicaTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.School of DentistryChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of DentistryChung Shan Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  4. 4.Institute of Oral SciencesChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  5. 5.Institute of MedicineChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryChanghua Christian HospitalChanghuaTaiwan
  7. 7.Whole-Genome Research Core Laboratory of Human DiseasesChang Gung Memorial HospitalKeelungTaiwan
  8. 8.Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, and Center for Molecular MedicineChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  9. 9.Department of BiotechnologyAsia UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  10. 10.Department of Medical ResearchChung Shan Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan

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