UGT1A1 and UGT1A9 functional variants, meat intake, and colon cancer, among Caucasians and African-Americans

Hugo Girard, Lesley M. Butler, Lyne Villeneuve, Robert C. Millikan, Rashmi Sinha, Robert S. Sandler, Chantal Guillemette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Glucuronidation by the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes (UGTs) is one of the primary detoxification pathways of dietary heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In a population-based case-control study of 537 cases and 866 controls, we investigated whether colon cancer was associated with genetic variations in UGT1A1 and UGT1A9 genes and we determined if those variations modify the association between colon cancer and dietary HCA and PAH exposure. We measured functional UGT1A1 polymorphisms at positions -53 (*28; A(TA)6TAA to A(TA)7TAA), -3156 (G > A), -3279 (T > G) and the UGT1A9-275(T > A) polymorphism, and found no association with colon cancer overall. However, when stratified by race, the UGT1A1-3279 GG/TG intermediate/low activity genotypes were associated with an increased risk of colon cancer (odds ratio (OR) = 1.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-2.0) in Caucasians. This finding is also supported by haplotype analyses where the UGT1A1-3279G-allele-bearing haplotype is overrepresented in case group. Overall, UGT1A1-53 and -3156 genotypes modified the association between dietary benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and colon cancer (P for interaction = 0.02 and 0.03, respectively). The strongest association was observed for those with <7.7 ng/day BaP exposure and the low activity genotypes, for both UGT1A1*28/*28 (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.1-2.9) and -3156AA (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.0-3.0), compared to ≥7.7 ng/day and combined high/intermediate genotypes. These data support a hypothesis that UGTs modify the association between meat-derived PAH exposure and colon cancer by their role in the elimination of dietary carcinogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 26 2008


  • Amines
  • Colon cancer
  • Genetic
  • Glucuronidation
  • Meat
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Molecular Biology


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