Polymorphisms in the DNA repair gene XRCC1 and susceptibility to alcoholic liver cirrhosis in older Southeastern Brazilians

Andréa Regina B. Rossit, Isabel Rosa Cabral, Christine Hackel, Rita de Cássia M.A. Da Silva, Nívea D.T.Conforti Froes, Sherif Z. Abdel-Rahman

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    43 Scopus citations


    The population of Southeastern Brazil has a very high mortality rate from liver cirrhosis, a disease that is considered an irreversible pre-malignant condition. This is largely due to the high prevalence of alcohol abuse in the region. Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with the production of free radical intermediates that can cause several DNA lesions. Reduced repair of these DNA lesions would, therefore, constitute a significant risk factor for liver cirrhosis and subsequent cancer. Recently, a number of polymorphisms in several DNA repair genes have been discovered, and it is possible that these polymorphisms may affect DNA repair capacity and thus modulate susceptibility to the disease. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that polymorphisms in the DNA repair gene XRCC1 are associated with increased risk of liver cirrhosis in Southeastern Brazilians. We conducted a pilot case-control study of 97 liver cirrhosis cases and 96 controls (matched for age, sex, and ethnicity) to investigate the role of two allelic variants coding for amino acid changes in the XRCC1 gene (the Arg194Trp and the Arg399Gln polymorphisms). Overall, we observed a 1.8-fold increase in the relative risk of liver cirrhosis associated with the 399Gln allele (either the heterozygous Arg/Gln or the homozygous Gln/Gln genotypes). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) was 1.82 (95% confidence limit (CL) 1.10-3.30). The relative risk appears to be highest among the Mestiso ethnic group (OR 2.60, 95% CL 0.92-7.34). There was a significant association between the 399Gln polymorphism and the risk of liver cirrhosis in older individuals over the age of 45 years (OR 2.70 (95% CL 1.14-6.48) compared to an OR of 1.24 (95% CL 0.55-2.78) for those under 45 years of age. No association was observed between the XRCC1 194Trp polymorphism and risk of liver cirrhosis. These preliminary results suggest that the XRCC1 399Gln polymorphism may be a significant risk modifier for alcoholic liver cirrhosis and justifies additional studies in that direction.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)173-182
    Number of pages10
    JournalCancer Letters
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 28 2002


    • Biomarkers
    • DNA repair
    • Genetic polymorphism
    • Liver cirrhosis
    • XRCC1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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