Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), known as a rate-limiting metabolic enzyme in the catabolism of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), degrades more than about 80% of the administered 5-FU in human liver. Since it was reported that the anticancer effects of 5-FU were observed in cancer patients with lower DPD activities, many attempts have been conducted to anticipate the expected anticancer effects of 5-FU based on expression of intracanceral DPD. It have been reported that 39 different mutations and polymorphisms in the coding regions of DPD genes have been identified; however, there is no report on polymorphisms in the 5-flanking region of DPD genes. We investigated polymorphisms in the 5′-flanking regions (3,058 bp), which are considered to control expression of DPD genes, in genomic DNA extracted from 37 kinds of human cancer cells. As the results, out of 37 cancer cells subjected to analysis, DLD-1 cells had C insertion and 7 strains G deletion, which were hetelozygote. No significant relationship was identified between the DPD activity and the expression levels of DPD mRNA in examined 10 kinds of human cancer cells. However, in DLD-1 cells, which have C-insertion polymorphism in 5′-flanking region of DPD gene, the DPD activity was below detection limit (≤ 0.5 pmol/min/mg protein). Furthermore, 50% of cytosine residue on the CpG site generated by the C insertion was methylated at the 5 position. In this study, we have identified novel polymorphism possibly related the cytotoxicity of 5-FU in the 5′-flanking region of DPD gene. It is suggested that newly identified polymorphism of DPD gene might affect transcription of DPD, thereby providing influence on the clinical outcome of cancer patients treated with 5-FU.
- Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase
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