Interaction of glutathione s-transferase m1 and t1 genotypes and malignant melanoma
The mu and theta classes of glutathione S-transferases (GST) may affect the development of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) by decreasing cellular oxidative stress in skin. These isozymes are absent in a large proportion of the population because of germ-line homozygous deletions in the genes encoding GSTM1 and GSTT1. To determine the association between GSTM1 and GSTT1 homozygous deletions (GSTM1 null and GSTT1 null, respectively) and CMM, we studied 212 patients with CMM, 150 patients with CMM and dysplastic nevi (DN), 147 patients with DN alone, and 124 healthy persons without CMM or DN. Comparing CMM cases (n = 362) to participants without CMM (n = 271), we found no association with GSTM1 null [odds ratio (OR), 1.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.86-1.6] or GSTT1 null (OR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.56-1.2), either independently or in combination (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.81-2.2), after adjusting for age. However, among the subset of participants with red or blond hair, those with CMM were twice as likely to carry GSTM1 null (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2-4.2) and nearly 10-fold more likely to carry both GSTM1 null and GSTT1 null (OR, 9.5; 95% CI, 1.2-73) compared with those without CMM. These data suggest that among persons with hair colors traditionally associated with increased risk for melanoma, absence of both GSTM1 and GSTT1 may act to further elevate CMM risk.