Both internal and external oxidative stresses act on DNA and can induce carcinogenesis. 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is an indicator of oxidative stress and it leads to transversion mutations and carcinogenesis. 8-OHdG is excision-repaired by 8-OHdG DNA glycosylase (OGG1). The purpose of this study is to clarify the effect of oxidative DNA damage and repair enzymes on esophageal carcinogenesis. The levels of 8-OHdG and OGG1 were immunohistochemically evaluated in resected specimens, including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in 97 patients with esophageal cancer. Higher levels of 8-OHdG in normal esophageal epithelium were associated with a higher smoking index (P = 0.0464). The 8-OHdG level was higher in cancerous areas than in normal epithelia (P = 0.0061), whereas OGG1 expression was weaker in cancerous areas than in normal epithelia (P < 0.0001). An increase of OGG1 expression in normal epithelium was observed as 8-OHdG levels increased (P = 0.0011). However, this correlation was not observed in cancerous areas. High OGG1 expression in the cytoplasm was related to deeper tumors (P = 0.0023), node metastasis (P = 0.0065) and stage (P = 0.0019). Oxidative DNA damage, which is attributable to smoking as well as disturbances in DNA repair systems, appears to be closely related to esophageal carcinogenesis and its progression.
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