The null allele of GSTM1 does not affect susceptibility to solar keratoses in the Australian white population

Lea, Rod A., Selvey, Saxon, Ashton, Kevin J., Curran, Joanne E., Gaffney, Philip T., Green, Adele C., & Griffiths, Lyn R. (1998) The null allele of GSTM1 does not affect susceptibility to solar keratoses in the Australian white population. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 38(4), pp. 631-633.

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Solar keratoses (SKs) are induced by exposure to UV radiation and are capable of undergoing transformation to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).1 The two main factors influencing the occurrence of SK are the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight and the total duration of solar exposure. These factors are responsible for the high incidence of SK in Australia. Although the influence of genetic factors is not defined, there is evidence that the gene encoding the enzyme, glutathione S-transferase, may be implicated in cancer predisposition and therefore SK.

Glutathione S-transferase Mu-1 (GSTM1) is an isoenzyme involved in the detoxification of carcinogens. The GSTM1 protein is completely absent in approximately 50% of white persons. This absence is caused by a homozygous gene deletion on chromosome 1p resulting in a null genotype.2 Katoh3 showed that the frequency of the GSTM1 null genotype was significantly higher in 85 patients with urothelial cancer (61.2%; p < 0.05), suggesting that the null genotype may increase cancer susceptibility. This finding was supported by Lafuente et al.4 who found evidence that persons who lack the GSTM1 gene have approximately twice the chance of experiencing malignant melanoma. Further research in the United Kingdom found that patients with two or more skin tumors of different types, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and SCC, had a significantly higher frequency of GSTM1 null genotypes than controls (71%; p = 0.033). However the GSTM1 genotype in patients with only SCC was not excessive in this population.5

Persons residing in northern Australia have the highest incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer (SCC and BCC) in the world6 and receive far greater solar exposure than persons residing in the United Kingdom. It is possible that the GSTM1 null genotype may affect susceptibility to SK, which may act as SCC precursors, in Australians exposed to these high levels of solar radiation.

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ID Code: 62944
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/S0190-9622(98)70132-X
ISSN: 0190-9622
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 Mosby, Inc.
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2013 04:05
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 04:07

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