Cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) catalyzes nicotine metabolism and contributes to the metabolism of the tobacco-specific lung carcinogen, NNK. Genetic variation in CYP2A6 may affect smoking behavior and contribute to lung cancer risk. A nested case-control study of 325 lung cancer cases and 356 controls was conducted within a prospective cohort of 18,244 Chinese men in Shanghai, China. Quantified were 4 allelic variants of CYP2A6 [1(+51A), 4, 7, and 9] and urinary total nicotine, total cotinine, total trans-3'-hydroxycotinine (3HC) and total NNAL (an NNK metabolite). Calculated were total nicotine equivalents (TNE), the sum of total nicotine, total cotinine and total 3HC and the total 3HC:total cotinine ratio as a measure of CYP2A6 activity. The nicotine metabolizer status (normal, intermediate, slow and poor) was determined by CYP2A6 genotypes. The smoking-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of lung cancer for the highest vs lowest quartile of total nicotine, total cotinine, total 3HC, TNE and total NNAL were 3.03 (1.80-5.10), 4.70 (2.61-8.46), 4.26 (2.37-7.68), 4.71 (2.61-8.52), and 3.15 (1.86-5.33) (all Ptrend < 0.001), respectively. Among controls CYP2A6 poor metabolizers had a 78% lower total 3HC:total cotinine ratio and 72% higher total nicotine (Ptrend ≤ 0.002). Poor metabolizers had an odds ratio of 0.64 (95% confidence interval = 0.43-0.97) for lung cancer, which was statistically nonsignificant (odds ratio = 0.74, 95% confidence interval = 0.48-1.15) after adjustment for urinary TNE and smoking intensity and duration. The lower lung cancer risk observed in CYP2A6 poor metabolizers is partially explained by the strong influence of CYP2A6 genetic polymorphisms on nicotine uptake and metabolism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
USPHS; Grant numbers: R01 CA043092, R01 CA129534, R01 CA144034, R01 CA81301, UM1 CA182876 The authors thank Katherine Wickham for carrying out all nicotine and metabolite analyses and Xue-Li Wang of the Shanghai Cancer Institute for supervising the field work of the Shanghai Cohort Study. They also thank the Shanghai Cancer Registry for assistance with the identification of lung cancer cases via database linkage.
- lung cancer
- tobacco exposure biomarkers
- total nicotine equivalents