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Quantitative trait locus analysis reveals two intragenic sites that influence O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mauro Santibanez Koref


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The repair of specific types of DNA alkylation damage by O6 -alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (MGMT) is a major mechanism of resistance to the carcinogenic and chemotherapeutic effects of certain alkylating agents. MGMT expression levels vary widely between individuals but the underlying causes of this variability are not known. To address this, we used an expressed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and demonstrated that the MGMT alleles are frequently expressed at different levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). This suggests that there is a genetic component of inter-allelic variation of MGMT levels that maps close to or within the MGMT locus. We then used quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis using intragenic SNPs and found that there are at least two sites influencing inter-individual variation in PBMC MGMT activity. One is characterized by an SNP at the 3′ end of the first intron and the second by two SNPs in the last exon. The latter are in perfect disequilibrium and both result in amino acid substitutions - one of them, Ile143Val, affecting an amino acid close to the Cys145 residue at the active site of MGMT. Using in vitro assays, we further showed that while the Val143 variant did not affect the activity of the protein on methylated DNA substrate, it was more resistant to inactivation by the MGMT pseudosubstrate, O6-(4-bromothenyl)guanine. These findings suggest that further investigations of the potential epidemiological and clinical significance of inherited differences in MGMT expression and activity are warranted. © Oxford University Press 2005; All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Margison GP, Heighway J, Pearson S, McGown G, Thorncroft MR, Watson AJ, Harrison KL, Lewis SJ, Rohde K, Barber PV, O'Donnell P, Povey AC, Santibanez-Koref MF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Carcinogenesis

Year: 2005

Volume: 26

Issue: 8

Pages: 1473-1480

Print publication date: 01/08/2005

ISSN (print): 0143-3334

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2180

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/carcin/bgi087

PubMed id: 15831531


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