Mitochondrial DNA copy number and risk of gastric cancer: A report from the Shanghai women's health study

Linda M. Liao, Andrea Baccarelli, Xiao Ou Shu, Yu Tang Gao, Bu Tian Ji, Gong Yang, Hong Lan Li, Mirjam Hoxha, Laura Dioni, Nathaniel Rothman, Wei Zheng, Wong Ho Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is an approximately 16,000-bp circular double-stranded DNA molecule that is a prime target of oxidative damage. Several somatic mutations in mtDNA have been observed in gastric tumors, suggesting an involvement in gastric cancer risk and progression. mtDNA copy number in leukocyte DNA has also been linked to several other cancers, although the temporal relationship between mtDNA and cancer has not been adequately explored. Methods: Using a nested case-control study design, we examined the association between mtDNA copy number in 162 gastric cancer cases and 299 matched controls within the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a large population-based prospective cohort. Relative mtDNA copy number was measured in triplicate by a quantitative real-time PCR assay in peripheral leukocytes. Results: mtDNA copy number levels were comparable among cases and controls, with a median of 1.04 [interquartile range (IQR), 0.87-1.25] and 1.06 (IQR, 0.88-1.29), respectively. Overall, mtDNA was not associated with gastric cancer risk. However, the association differed when stratified by the time between sample collection and cancer diagnosis. An association between low levels of mtDNA copy number (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1944-1949
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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