UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1 is involved in the inactivation of estradiol (E 2 ) and its oxidized metabolites. These metabolites have been shown to contribute to the development of endometrial cancer in animal studies. Thus UGT1A1 represents a candidate gene in endometrial carcinogenesis. In this study, we established the substrate specificity of UGT1A1 for E 2 and its 2- and 4-hydroxylated metabolites. Intrinsic clearances indicated that UGT1A1 had a preference for the glucuronidation of 2-hydroxyestradiol, a metabolite associated with antiproliferative activity. Expression analysis demonstrated that UGT1A1 is present in the nonmalignant endometrium. Subsequently, we sought to determine whether the common UGT1A1 promoter allele, UGT1A1*28 [A(TA) 7 TAA], which decreases gene transcription, was associated with endometrial cancer risk in a case control study nested within the Nurses' Health Study (222 cases, 666 matched controls). Conditional logistic regression demonstrated a significant inverse association with the UGT1A1*28 allele and endometrial cancer risk. Compared with women homozygous for the UGT1A1*1 [A(TA) 6 TAA] allele, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) was 0.81 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.56-1.16] for the UGT1A1*1/*28 genotype and 0.40 (95% CI, 0.21-0.75) for the homozygous UGT1A1*28 genotype (P trend = 0.007). There was a suggestion of an interaction by menopausal status [OR = 0.39 (95% CI, 0.18-0.85) for premenopausal women and OR = 0.79 (95% CI, 0.55-1.13) for postmenopausal women who carry the UGT1A1*28 allele (P interaction = 0.05)]. These observations suggest that lower expression of UGT1A1 decreases the risk of endometrial cancer by reducing the excretion of 2-hydroxyestradiol, the antiproliferative metabolite of E 2 , in the endometrium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research