Background: Thymidylate synthase (TS) catalyzes the methylation of deoxyuridylate to deoxythymidylate and is involved in DNA methylation, synthesis and repair. Two common polymorphisms have been reported, tandem repeats in the promoter-enhancer region (TSER), and 6bp ins/del in the 5 UTR, that are implicated in a number of human diseases, including cancer. The association between the two polymorphisms in risk for lung cancer (LC) was here investigated in the Jordanian population. Materials and
Methods: An age, gender, and smoking-matched case-control study involving 84 lung cancer cases and 71 controls was conducted. The polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique was used to detect the polymorphism of interest.
Results: Individuals bearing the ins/ins genotype were 2.5 times more likely to have lung cancer [(95%CI: 0.98-6.37), p=0.051]. Individuals who were less than or equal to 57 years and carrying ins/ins genotype were 4.6 times more susceptible to lung cancer [OR<57 vs >57years: 4.6 (95%CI: 0.93-22.5), p=0.059)]. Genotypes and alleles of TSER were distributed similarly between cases and controls. Weak linkage disequilibrium existed between the two loci of interest (Lewontin’s coefficient [D’]) (LC: D’ =0.03, r2: 0. 001, p= 0.8; Controls: D’ =0.29, r2: 0.08, p=0.02). Carriers of the “3 tandem repeats_insertion” haplotype (3R_ins) were 2 times more likely to have lung cancer [2 (95%CI: 1.13-3.48), p=0.061].
Conclusions: Genetic polymorphism of TS at 3` UTR and its haplotype analysis may modulate the risk of lung cancer in Jordanians. The 6bp ins/del polymorphism of TS at 3 `UTR is more informative than TSER polymorphism in predicting increased risk.