Influence of DNA repair polymorphisms on biomarkers of genotoxic damage in peripheral lymphocytes of healthy subjects

A. Zijno, A. Verdina, R. Galati, P. Leopardi, F. Marcon, C. Andreoli, S. Rossi, R. Crebelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA repair polymorphisms may represent susceptibility factors affecting DNA integrity, and possibly cancer risk, in human population. In order to elucidate the influence of a few widely studied DNA repair polymorphisms on individual levels of DNA damage and their possible interaction with lifestyle and environmental exposures, 171 subjects from a well-characterized human population enrolled in a previous study on genetic effects of air pollution were genotyped for the XRCC1 Arg280His and Arg399Glu, XRCC3 Thr241Met and ERCC2 Lys751Gln polymorphisms. The association between DNA repair genotype, alone or in combination with metabolic genotype, on the levels of SCE, micronuclei and tail moment values in peripheral lymphocytes was evaluated. A significant influence of the ERCC2 genotype on SCE frequency was observed. Subjects with ERCC2 751 Gln/Gln genotype had significantly higher risk of high (above the median) SCE/cell with respect to Lys/Lys referents (OR 4.55, 95% CI 1.48-13.99). A non-significantly elevated OR was also observed in Gln/Lys heterozygotes, suggesting a gene dosage effect. When subjects were categorized by smoking habits and professional exposure, the variant ERCC2 751 Gln/Gln genotype was associated with elevated SCE rates in non-smokers and in exposed subjects, but not in smokers. The results of this study support the hypothesis that some DNA repair polymorphisms exert a modifying effect on individual levels of DNA damage in healthy subjects, possibly also modulating cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-192
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2006


  • Biomarkers
  • DNA repair
  • Genetic damage
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Tobacco smoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Molecular Biology


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