Effect of XPD/ERCC2 polymorphisms on chromosome aberration frequencies in smokers and on sensitivity to the mutagenic tobacco-specific nitrosamine NNK

Alessandra A. Affatato, Kevin J. Wolfe, Mirtha S. Lopez, Csilla Hallberg, Marinel M. Ammenheuser, Sherif Z. Abdel-Rahman

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43 Scopus citations


Polymorphisms in DNA-repair genes could contribute to the interindividual differences in cancer susceptibility in smokers. By reducing DNA-repair capacity, these polymorphisms may influence the net level of smoking-induced genetic damage significantly, a critical step in the cascade of events leading to cancer. In this biomonitoring study, we examined the relationship between polymorphisms in the DNA-repair gene XPD/ERCC2 and genetic damage. We tested the hypothesis that coding polymorphisms in XPD/ERCC2 limit DNA-repair efficiency in humans leading to increased frequencies of chromosome aberration (CA) in their lymphocytes. We also used the mutagen-sensitivity assay, with the tobacco-specific nitrosamine NNK as a model mutagen, to determine whether lymphocytes from individuals with the variant XPD alleles are more sensitive to this tobacco-specific carcinogen. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) as estimates of relative risk of increased frequencies of CA associated with two XPD polymorphisms [Asp312Asn in exon 10 and Lys751Gln in exon 23). We observed a 2.57-fold (95% confidence limit [CL] = 0.88-7.50; P = 0.10) increase in risk of elevated in vivo frequencies of CA associated with the variant 312Asn allele in the total population. The relative risk was more pronounced in smokers (OR = 4.67; 95% CL = 1.04-20.90; P= 0.04) and in all subjects >48 years old (OR = 7.33; 95% CL = 1.53-35.10; P = 0.01). Similarly, elevations in NNK-induced aberrations were significantly associated with the 312Asn allele (OR = 3.69; 95% CL = 1.29-10.56; P = 0.02). The risk was higher in smokers (OR = 4.62; 95% CL = 1.14-18.70; P = 0.04) and in subjects >48 years old (OR = 5.76; 95% CL = 1.30-25.41; P = 0.03). No significant effect was observed with the 715Gln variant allele in relation to either in vivo or NNK-induced CA. These data suggest that the Asp312Asn polymorphism may alter the phenotype of the XPD protein, resulting in reduced DNA-repair capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 6 2004



  • Biomarkers
  • Chromosome aberration
  • DNA-repair genes
  • NNK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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