Bile acids have long been implicated in the etiology of colorectal cancer, but epidemiologic evidence remains elusive. Cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of bile acids from cholesterol in the liver, and thus may be an important determinant of bile acid production. We examined the association between the CYP7A1 A-203C polymorphism and colorectal cancer. The CYP7A1 A-203C polymorphism was determined by the PCR-RFLP method in 685 incident cases of colorectal cancer and 778 controls randomly selected from a community in the Fukuoka area, Japan. The CC genotype was slightly less frequent in the case group, and the adjusted odds ratio for the CC versus AA genotype was 0.88 (95% confidence interval, 0.65-1.20). In the analysis by subsite of the colorectum, a decreased risk associated with the CYP7A1 CC genotype was observed for proximal colon cancer, but not for either distal colon or rectal cancer. The adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of proximal colon cancer for the CC genotype were 0.63 (0.36-1.10) compared with the AA genotype, and 0.59 (0.37-0.96) compared with the AA and AC genotypes combined. A decreased risk of proximal colon cancer in relation to the CC genotype of CYP7A1 A-203C, which probably renders less activity of the enzyme converting cholesterol to bile acids, is new evidence for the role of bile acids in colorectal carcinogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research