Catechol-O-methyltransferase: Characteristics, polymorphisms and role in breast cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Catechol estrogens are carcinogenic, probably because of their estrogenicity and potential for further oxidative metabolism to reactive quinones. Estrogenic quinones cause oxidative DNA damage as well as form mutagenic depurinating adenine and guanine adducts. O-Methylation by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) blocks their estrogenicity and prevents their oxidation to quinones. A single gene encodes both membrane bound (MB) and soluble (S) forms of COMT. The COMT gene contains 34 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The valine108 (S-COMT)/158 (MB-COMT) SNP encodes a low activity form of COMT and has been widely studied as a putative risk factor for breast cancer, with inconsistent results. Investigations of two other SNPs in the promoter of MB-COMT that may affect its expression have also provided mixed results. Future studies on the role of COMT in breast cancer should incorporate measurement of biomarkers that reflect COMT activity and its protective effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e41-e46
JournalDrug Discovery Today: Disease Mechanisms
Volume9
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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