Background: EPHX1 is a key enzyme in metabolizing some exogenous carcinogens such as products of cigarette-smoking. Two functional polymorphisms in the EPHX1 gene, Tyr113His and His139Arg can alter the enzyme activity, suggesting their possible association with carcinogenesis risk, particularly of some tobacco-related cancers. Methodology/Principal Findings: A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis was performed of available studies on these two polymorphisms and cancer risk published up to November 2010, consisting of 84 studies (31144 cases and 42439 controls) for Tyr113His and 77 studies (28496 cases and 38506 controls) for His139Arg primarily focused on lung cancer, upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancers (including oral, pharynx, larynx and esophagus cancers), colorectal cancer or adenoma, bladder cancer and breast cancer. Results showed that Y113H low activity allele (H) was significantly associated with decreased risk of lung cancer (OR = 0.88, 95%CI = 0.80-0.96) and UADT cancers (OR = 0.86, 95%CI = 0.77-0.97) and H139R high activity allele (R) with increased risk of lung cancer (OR = 1.18, 95%CI = 1.04-1.33) but not of UADT cancers (OR = 1.05, 95%CI = 0.93-1.17). Pooled analysis of lung and UADT cancers revealed that low EPHX1 enzyme activity, predicted by the combination of Y113H and H139R showed decreased risk of these cancers (OR = 0.83, 95%CI = 0.75-0.93) whereas high EPHX1 activity increased risk of the cancers (OR = 1.20, 95%CI = 0.98-1.46). Furthermore, modest difference for the risk of lung and UADT cancers was found between cigarette smokers and nonsmokers both in single SNP analyses (low activity allele H: OR = 0.77/0.85 for smokers/nonsmokers; high activity allele R: OR = 1.20/1.09 for smokers/nonsmokers) and in combined double SNP analyses (putative low activity: OR = 0.73/0.88 for smokers/nonsmokers; putative high activity: OR = 1.02/0.93 for smokers/ nonsmokers). Conclusions/Significance: Putative low EPHX1 enzyme activity may have a potential protective effect on tobacco-related carcinogenesis of lung and UADT cancers, whereas putative high EPHX1 activity may have a harmful effect. Moreover, cigarette-smoking status may influence the association of EPHX1 enzyme activity and the related cancer risk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)