Characterization of CYP2A13*2, a variant cytochrome P450 allele previously found to be associated with decreased incidences of lung adenocarcinoma in smokers.
Cytochrome P450 2A13 (CYP2A13), an enzyme expressed predominantly in the human respiratory tract, exhibits high efficiency in the metabolic activation of tobacco carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). A C-->T transition in the CYP2A13 gene causes Arg257Cys amino acid substitution and, thus, results in a significantly reduced activity toward NNK and other substrates. In this case-control study, we genotyped 724 patients with lung cancer and 791 controls for this polymorphism to examine the hypothesis that the variant CYP2A13 may have impact on risk of lung cancer in relation to tobacco smoking. A gene deletion polymorphism (CYP2A6*4) in CYP2A6, another enzyme involved in the metabolic activation of tobacco nitrosamines, was also analyzed as a comparison. We found that, compared with the CC genotype, the variant CYP2A13 genotype (CT + TT) was associated with substantially reduced risk for lung adenocarcinoma [odds ratio (OR), 0.41; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.23-0.71], but not squamous cell carcinoma (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.57-1.29) or other types of lung cancer (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.32-1.09). Stratification analysis shows that the reduced risk of lung adenocarcinoma related to the variant CYP2A13 genotype was limited to smokers, especially light smokers (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.08-0.68) but not nonsmokers or heavy smokers. No association was observed between CYP2A6 genotype and risk of lung cancer. Our results demonstrate for the first time that the variant CYP2A13 allele is associated with reduced risk of lung adenocarcinoma, suggesting the role of NNK-CYP2A13 interaction as a causative factor for the cancer.