To characterize the relative roles of glutathione S-transferases (GST) M1 and M3 in the susceptibility to lung cancer, the pulmonary expression of GSTM3 was quantified immunochemically and related to the GSTM1 genotype in 100 lung cancer patients. Among active smokers and recent ex-smokers (for 6 years or less), parenchymal GSTM3 expression was lower in patients with a homozygous GSTM1 null genotype than in those who were GSTM1 positive and had similar smoking habits (P < 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively). However, in long-term ex-smokers (for 15 years or longer) GSTM3 was not affected by the GSTM1 genotype. Among active smokers and recent ex-smokers who were homozygous GSTM1 null, those with a definite or probable exposure to asbestos expressed GSTM3 at significantly higher levels than those for whom it was unlikely (P = 0.04). A similar effect of the homozygous GSTM1 null genotype on GSTM3 expression was not detected in the bronchial epithelium when GSTM3 was visualized immunohistochemically. Different mechanisms may result in an increased risk of either squamous cell or adenocarcinomas in patients with the homozygous GSTM1 null genotype. Low expression of GSTM3 due to smoking in the parenchymal lung of GSTM1 null individuals can theoretically favor the development of adenocarcinoma. Our data indicated a predominance of this tumor type in patients with low expression of GSTM3.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 1995|
- Aged, 80 and over
- Glutathione Transferase/metabolism
- Lung Neoplasms/enzymology
- Middle Aged
- Polymorphism, Genetic