Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) has been used as a biomarker for assessing the level of exposure to environmental carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In order to perform the appropriate biological monitoring for examining the level of exposure to PAHs, this study investigated whether or not genetic polymorphisms of the metabolic enzymes, which might be involved in the metabolism of pyrene, affected the urinary 1-OHP levels in a population of 661 Koreans (male, 63%; female, 37%; mean age, 36.5 ± 11.1 years) who were not occupationally exposed to PAHs. Urinary 1-OHP was detected in 76% of the subjects (range 0.001-3.8 μg/l). Among the physical and lifestyle factors, cigarette-smoking was found to be associated with the urinary 1-OHP levels (P < 0.05). After adjusting for these factors, we found that the GSTT1 genotypes affected the urinary 1-OHP levels, i.e. the GSTT1 present subjects had ∼1.5 times the urinary 1-OHP level than the GSTT1 null subjects (P < 0.05). In the case of the subjects who were also GSTM1 null, this trend became stronger, i.e. the GSTT1 present subjects had ∼2 times the urinary 1-OHP level (P < 0.01). However, the genetic polymorphism of the other metabolic enzymes, cytochrome P-450 (CYP)1A1, CYP1B1 and GSTM1 alone, did not affect the urinary 1-OHP level. Therefore, this study suggests that the GSTT1 genetic polymorphism has the potential to affect the biological monitoring of PAHs with urinary 1-OHP, and might act as a genetic factor in PAH-related toxicity.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by a grant from the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea. We would like to thank Dr Brian F.Coles, Division of Molecular Epidemiology, the National Center for Toxicological Research, USA, for his kind comments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research