COMT; catechol-O-methyltransferase (22q11.21)

Gene Summary

Gene:COMT; catechol-O-methyltransferase
Aliases: HEL-S-98n
Summary:Catechol-O-methyltransferase catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catecholamines, including the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. This O-methylation results in one of the major degradative pathways of the catecholamine transmitters. In addition to its role in the metabolism of endogenous substances, COMT is important in the metabolism of catechol drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, asthma, and Parkinson disease. COMT is found in two forms in tissues, a soluble form (S-COMT) and a membrane-bound form (MB-COMT). The differences between S-COMT and MB-COMT reside within the N-termini. Several transcript variants are formed through the use of alternative translation initiation sites and promoters. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:catechol O-methyltransferase
Updated:18 November, 2014

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 18 November 2014 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Risk Assessment
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Taiwan
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • CYP17
  • Retinoic Acid
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Odds Ratio
  • Urban Population
  • Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin
  • Valine
  • Premenopause
  • Registries
  • Soybeans
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Tumor Markers
  • Alleles
  • Regression Analysis
  • Chromosome 22
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Estrogens
  • Sleep Stages
  • Survivors
  • Risk Factors
  • Breast Cancer
  • Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase
  • Up-Regulation
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Genotype
  • Syria
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Postmenopause
  • Soy Foods
  • Testosterone
Tag cloud generated 18 November, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex


COMT and Breast Cancer

Related Publications (115)

COMT and Bladder Cancer

Related Publications (4)

COMT and Prostate Cancer

Related Publications (12)

COMT and Stomach Cancer

Related Publications (1)

Related Links

Latest Publications: COMT (cancer-related)

Chiu M, Tardito S, Pillozzi S, et al.
Glutamine depletion by crisantaspase hinders the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 111(6):1159-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A subset of human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) exhibit mutations of β-catenin gene CTNNB1 and overexpress Glutamine synthetase (GS). The CTNNB1-mutated HCC cell line HepG2 is sensitive to glutamine starvation induced in vitro with the antileukemic drug Crisantaspase and the GS inhibitor methionine-L-sulfoximine (MSO).
METHODS: Immunodeficient mice with subcutaneous xenografts of the CTNNB1-mutated HCC cell lines HepG2 and HC-AFW1 were treated with Crisantaspase and/or MSO, and tumour growth was monitored. At the end of treatment, tumour weight and histology were assessed. Serum and tissue amino acids were determined by HPLC. Gene and protein expression were estimated with RT-PCR and western blot and GS activity with a colorimetric method. mTOR activity was evaluated from the phosphorylation of p70S6K1.
RESULTS: Crisantaspase and MSO depleted serum glutamine, lowered glutamine in liver and tumour tissue, and inhibited liver GS activity. HepG2 tumour growth was significantly reduced by either Crisantaspase or MSO, and completely suppressed by the combined treatment. The combined treatment was also effective against xenografts of the HC-AFW1 cell line, which is Crisantaspase resistant in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of Crisantaspase and MSO reduces glutamine supply to CTNNB1-mutated HCC xenografts and hinders their growth.

Related: Crisantaspase MKI67 Liver Cancer

Ghisari M, Eiberg H, Long M, Bonefeld-Jørgensen EC
Polymorphisms in phase I and phase II genes and breast cancer risk and relations to persistent organic pollutant exposure: a case-control study in Inuit women.
Environ Health. 2014; 13(1):19 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have previously reported that chemicals belonging to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are risk factors in Breast Cancer (BC) development in Greenlandic Inuit women. The present case-control study aimed to investigate the main effect of polymorphisms in genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism and estrogen biosynthesis, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, COMT and CYP17, CYP19 and the BRCA1 founder mutation in relation to BC risk and to explore possible interactions between the gene polymorphisms and serum POP levels on BC risk in Greenlandic Inuit women.
METHODS: The study population consisted of 31 BC cases and 115 matched controls, with information on serum levels of POPs. Genotyping was conducted for CYP1A1 (Ile462Val; rs1048943), CYP1B1 (Leu432Val; rs1056836), COMT (Val158Met; rs4680), CYP17A1 (A1> A2; rs743572); CYP19A1 (C> T; rs10046) and CYP19A1 ((TTTA)n repeats) polymorphisms and BRCA1 founder mutation using TaqMan allelic discrimination method and polymerase chain reaction based restriction fragment length polymorphism. The χ2 -test was used to compare categorical variables between cases and controls and the odds ratios were estimated by unconditional logistic regression models.
RESULTS: We found an independent association of CYP1A1 (Val) and CYP17 (A1) with BC risk.Furthermore, an increased BC risk was observed for women with high serum levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and carriers of at least: one CYP1A1 variant Val allele; one variant COMT Met allele; or the common CYP17 A1 allele. No combined effects were seen between PFAS exposure and CYP1B1 and CYP19 polymorphisms. The risk of BC was not found significantly associated with exposure to PCBs and OCPs, regardless of genotype for all investigated SNPs. The frequency of the Greenlandic founder mutation in BRCA1 was as expected higher in cases than in controls.
CONCLUSIONS: The BRCA1 founder mutation and polymorphisms in CYP1A1 (Val) and CYP17 (A1) can increase the BC risk among Inuit women and the risk increases with higher serum levels of PFOS and PFOA. Serum PFAS levels were a consistent risk factor of BC, but inter-individual polymorphic differences might cause variations in sensitivity to the PFAS/POP exposure.

Related: Breast Cancer

Pud D, Har-Zahav G, Laitman Y, et al.
Association between variants of 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 3C (HTR3C) and chemotherapy-induced symptoms in women receiving adjuvant treatment for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 144(1):123-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Administration of chemotherapy is associated with a wide array of symptoms affecting quality of life. Genetic risk factors for severity of chemotherapy-induced symptoms have not been determined. The present study aimed to explore the associations between polymorphisms in candidate genes and chemotherapy-induced symptoms. Women treated with at least two cycles of adjuvant doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, with or without paclitaxel for early breast cancer (n = 105) completed the memorial symptom assessment scale and provided blood for genotyping. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes and assayed for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1, rs10483639, rs3783641, and rs8007267), catecholamine-o-methyltransferase (COMT, rs4818), and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) receptor 3C (HTR3C, rs6766410, and rs6807362). Genotyping of HTR3C revealed a significant association between the presence of rs6766410 and rs6807362 SNPs (K163 and G405 variants) and increased severity of symptoms (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.007, respectively). Multiple regressions revealed that rs6766410 and rs6807362, but not age or stage at diagnosis, predicted severity of symptoms (p = 0.001 and p = 0.006, respectively) and explained 12 % of the variance in each regression model. No association was found between the genetic variants of CGH1 or COMT and symptom score. Our study indicates, for the first time, an association between variants of HTR3C and severity of chemotherapy-induced symptoms. Analyzing these genetic variants may identify patients at increased risk for the development of chemotherapy-induced symptoms and targeting the serotonin pathway may serve as a novel treatment strategy for these patients.

Related: Breast Cancer Cyclophosphamide Doxorubicin Paclitaxel

Swift-Scanlan T, Smith CT, Bardowell SA, Boettiger CA
Comprehensive interrogation of CpG island methylation in the gene encoding COMT, a key estrogen and catecholamine regulator.
BMC Med Genomics. 2014; 7:5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme has been widely studied due to its multiple roles in neurological functioning, estrogen biology, and methylation metabolic pathways. Numerous studies have investigated variation in the large COMT gene, with the majority focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This body of work has linked COMT genetic variation with a vast array of conditions, including several neurobehavioral disorders, pain sensitivity, and multiple human cancers. Based on COMT's numerous biological roles and recent studies suggesting that methylation of the COMT gene impacts COMT gene expression, we comprehensively interrogated methylation in over 200 CpG dinucleotide sequences spanning the length of the COMT gene.
METHODS: Using saliva-derived DNA from a non-clinical sample of human subjects, we tested for associations between COMT CpG methylation and factors reported to interact with COMT genetic effects, including demographic factors and alcohol use. Finally, we tested associations between COMT CpG methylation state and COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. We interrogated >200 CpGs in 13 amplicons spanning the 5' UTR to the last exon of the CpG dinucleotide-rich COMT gene in n = 48 subjects, n = 11 cell lines and 1 endogenous 18S rRNA control.
RESULTS: With the exception of the CpG island in the 5'UTR and 1st exon, all other CpG islands were strongly methylated with typical dynamic ranges between 50-90%. In the saliva samples, methylation of multiple COMT loci was associated with socioeconomic status or ethnicity. We found associations between methylation at numerous loci and genotype at the functional Val158Met SNP (rs4680), and most of the correlations between methylation and demographic and alcohol use factors were Val158Met allele-specific. Methylation at several of these loci also associated with COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: We report the first comprehensive interrogation of COMT methylation. We corroborate previous findings of variation in COMT methylation with gene expression and the Val158Met genotype, and also report novel associations with socioeconomic status (SES) and ethnicity at several methylated loci. These results point to novel mechanisms for COMT regulation, which may have broad therapeutic implications.

Related: Breast Cancer

Kambur O, Kaunisto MA, Tikkanen E, et al.
Effect of catechol-o-methyltransferase-gene (COMT) variants on experimental and acute postoperative pain in 1,000 women undergoing surgery for breast cancer.
Anesthesiology. 2013; 119(6):1422-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines in different tissues. Polymorphisms in COMT gene can attenuate COMT activity and increase sensitivity to pain. Human studies exploring the effect of COMT polymorphisms on pain sensitivity have mostly included small, heterogeneous samples and have ignored several important single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This study examines the effect of COMT polymorphisms on experimental and postoperative pain phenotypes in a large ethnically homogeneous female patient cohort.
METHODS: Intensity of cold (+2-4°C) and heat (+48°C) pain and tolerance to cold pain were assessed in 1,000 patients scheduled for breast cancer surgery. Acute postoperative pain and oxycodone requirements were recorded. Twenty-two COMT SNPs were genotyped and their association with six pain phenotypes analyzed with linear regression.
RESULTS: There was no association between any of the tested pain phenotypes and SNP rs4680. The strongest association signals were seen between rs165774 and heat pain intensity as well as rs887200 and cold pain intensity. In both cases, minor allele carriers reported less pain. Neither of these results remained significant after strict multiple testing corrections. When analyzed further, the effect of rs887200 was, however, shown to be significant and consistent throughout the cold pressure test. No evidence of association between the SNPs and postoperative oxycodone consumption was found.
CONCLUSIONS: SNPs rs887200 and rs165774 located in the untranslated regions of the gene had the strongest effects on pain sensitivity. Their effect on pain is described here for the first time. These results should be confirmed in further studies and the potential functional mechanisms of the variants studied.

Related: Breast Cancer

Tian C, Liu L, Yang X, et al.
The Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene is associated with increased cancer risks in Chinese population.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(4):3003-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene may affect the DNA repair pathways and be associated with the risk of cancer in Chinese population. However, the results of previous studies are inconsistent. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between the Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene and the risk of cancer for Chinese population by meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, Embase, CNKI, Weipu, and Wanfang databases, and the last search was updated on Sep. 26, 2013. Statistical analysis was performed using the Revman4.2 and Stata10.0 software. A total of 18 case-control studies concerning 5034 case and 6234 controls were included. In the total analysis, the results suggested a significant association between the Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene and the cancer risk in Chinese population: OR = 1.34, 95%CI = 1.04-1.73, and P = 0.03 for AA vs. AG + GG; OR = 1.39, 95%CI = 1.06-1.82, and P = 0.02; OR = 1.13, 95%CI = 1.01-1.27, and P = 0.04. In the subgroup analysis by cancer types, significant association was found in the breast cancer and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The current meta-analysis confirmed that the Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene may be a risk factor for cancer in Chinese population. In the future, more case-control studies are needed to validate our results.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction Polymorphisms

Pancione M, Remo A, Zanella C, et al.
The chromatin remodelling component SMARCB1/INI1 influences the metastatic behavior of colorectal cancer through a gene signature mapping to chromosome 22.
J Transl Med. 2013; 11:297 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: INI1 (Integrase interactor 1), also known as SMARCB1, is the most studied subunit of chromatin remodelling complexes. Its role in colorectal tumorigenesis is not known.
METHODS: We examined SMARCB1/INI1 protein expression in 134 cases of colorectal cancer (CRC) and 60 matched normal mucosa by using tissue microarrays and western blot and categorized the results according to mismatch repair status (MMR), CpG island methylator phenotype, biomarkers of tumor differentiation CDX2, CK20, vimentin and p53. We validated results in two independent data sets and in cultured CRC cell lines.
RESULTS: Herein, we show that negative SMARCB1/INI1 expression (11% of CRCs) associates with loss of CDX2, poor differentiation, liver metastasis and shorter patients' survival regardless of the MMR status or tumor stage. Unexpectedly, even CRCs displaying diffuse nuclear INI1 staining (33%) show an adverse prognosis and vimentin over-expression, in comparison with the low expressing group (56%). The negative association of SMARCB1/INI1-lack of expression with a metastatic behavior is enhanced by the TP53 status. By interrogating global gene expression from two independent cohorts of 226 and 146 patients, we confirm the prognostic results and identify a gene signature characterized by SMARCB1/INI1 deregulation. Notably, the top genes of the signature (BCR, COMT, MIF) map on the long arm of chromosome 22 and are closely associated with SMARCB1/INI1.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that SMARCB1/INI1-dysregulation and genetic hot-spots on the long arm of chromosome 22 might play an important role in the CRC metastatic behavior and be clinically relevant as novel biomarkers.

Related: Chromosome 22 Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer TP53

Bottarelli L, Azzoni C, Pizzi S, et al.
Adenomatous polyposis coli gene involvement in ileal enterochromaffin cell neuroendocrine neoplasms.
Hum Pathol. 2013; 44(12):2736-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
The adenomatous polyposis coli gene is a key tumor suppressor gene. Alterations in this gene have been found in most sporadic colon cancers; associated with familial adenomatous polyposis; and found in neoplasms of other organs, such as the liver, stomach, lung, breast, and cerebellar medulloblastoma. In the heterogeneous group of neuroendocrine neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract, the involvement of adenomatous polyposis coli is debated, and only occasional reports found adenomatous polyposis coli alterations in foregut and midgut neuroendocrine neoplasms, with adenomatous polyposis coli mutations only in the latter. To elucidate the penetrance of adenomatous polyposis coli alterations in ileal neuroendocrine neoplasms, we performed DNA fragment analysis (loss of heterozygosity for 5q22-23 and 5q23) and sequencing on the mutation cluster region of the adenomatous polyposis coli gene on 30 ileal enterochromaffin cell neuroendocrine neoplasms. Adenomatous polyposis coli gene mutations were detected in 23% of cases (7/30); in particular, 57% were missense and 14%, nonsense/frameshift, all novel and different from those reported in colorectal or other cancers. Loss of heterozygosity analysis demonstrated a deletion frequency of 15% (4/27). No association was found with features of tumor progression. Our observations support the involvement of somatic adenomatous polyposis coli alterations in tumorigenesis of ileal enterochromaffin cell neuroendocrine neoplasms; the mechanisms of adenomatous polyposis coli gene inactivation appear to be different from those reported in other tumor types.

Related: Signal Transduction

Feng Y, Zhao X, Zhou C, et al.
The associations between the Val158Met in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and the risk of uterine leiomyoma (ULM).
Gene. 2013; 529(2):296-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Val158Met polymorphism of the COMT gene has been implicated in susceptibility to uterine leiomyoma (ULM), but the reported results were inconclusive. The aim of the study was to evaluate the Val158Met polymorphism of the COMT gene and the risk of ULM by meta-analysis. A comprehensive electronic search for relevant articles was conducted in Pubmed, Embase, CNKI, Wanfang, and Weipu databases. Statistical analysis was performed by using the Revman4.2 software and Stata10.0 software. A total of 7 articles including 12 case-control studies were identified in this meta-analysis. The results showed that the polymorphism was associated with decreased risk of ULM (Met/Met+Val/Met vs. Met/Met: OR=0.84, 95% CI=0.70-0.99, Z=2.07, p=0.04). In the subgroup analyses by ethnicity, significant decreased risk was found among the black populations (OR=0.68, 95% CI=0.48-0.97, Z=2.15, p=0.03). The current meta-analysis suggested that the Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene was associated with decreased risk of ULM, especially in the black population. Future studies are needed to validate our conclusions.

Catherino WH, Eltoukhi HM, Al-Hendy A
Racial and ethnic differences in the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of uterine leiomyoma.
Semin Reprod Med. 2013; 31(5):370-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Uterine leiomyomas are the most common benign gynecologic condition. The prevalence is three times more common among women of African ethnicity. Disparity in this disease is evidenced by earlier age of onset, greater severity of symptoms, and different response to treatment. Although the pathogenesis of disease development is not completely known, growing evidence focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms in disease development and the influence of ethnicity. Variation in the expression levels or function of estrogen and progesterone receptors, polymorphism of genes involved in estrogen synthesis and/or metabolism (COMT, CYP17), retinoic acid nuclear receptors (retinoid acid receptor-α, retinoid X receptor-α), and aberrant expression of micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are some of the molecular mechanisms that may be involved. Nutritional factors, such as vitamin D deficiency, might also contribute to the higher incidence in dark skinned populations who are also commonly suffer from hypovitaminosis D. Culture and environmental difference might have a role in disease development. Further analysis and better understanding of these mechanisms will provide insight into the molecular basis of racial disparities in leiomyoma formation and will help to develop new innovations in leiomyoma treatment.

Related: USA

Bräuner EV, Loft S, Wellejus A, et al.
Adipose tissue PCB levels and CYP1B1 and COMT genotypes in relation to breast cancer risk in postmenopausal Danish women.
Int J Environ Health Res. 2014; 24(3):256-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exposure to PCBs may be an etiologic factor for breast cancer. The cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzymes are involved in estrogen metabolism and PCB metabolism, both of which may relate to breast cancer susceptibility. Polymorphisms in genes regulating these enzymes control efficiency. Our objective was to assess whether CYP1B1 and COMT gene polymorphisms modulate the effect of PCBs in breast cancer risk, among postmenopausal Danish women. Neither CYP1B1 Leu432Val polymorphisms nor adipose tissue PCBs were independently associated with breast cancer risk. When assessing the independent effect of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, we observed reduced risk for breast cancer amongst hormone replacement therapy using women who were homozygous carriers of the variant allele compared with those carrying the wild-type variant (RR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.29-0.89). We found no statistically significant interactions between any of the PCB groups and CYP1B1 or COMT polymorphisms on the risk of breast cancer.

Related: Breast Cancer CYP1B1

Teng Y, He C, Zuo X, Li X
Catechol-O-methyltransferase and cytochrome P-450 1B1 polymorphisms and endometrial cancer risk: a meta-analysis.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2013; 23(3):422-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Disordered metabolism of estrogen is believed to play a significant role in endometrial carcinogenesis. Recently, a number of studies have been conducted to identify the role of estrogen-related gene polymorphism in endometrial cancer risk, generating conflicting conclusions. This meta-analysis aimed to assess the association between genetic polymorphisms involving estrogen metabolic enzymes and endometrial cancer risk.
METHODS: A systematic search of 6 databases was conducted. Fourteen studies on the association of COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase) Val158Met, CYP1B1 Leu432Val, and CYP1B1 Asn453Ser polymorphisms with endometrial cancer risk were identified, enrolling a total of 4283 cancer cases and 7094 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the relationship.
RESULTS: In CYP1B1 Leu432Val(rs1056836) analysis, the heterozygous genotype (CG) demonstrated an increased risk for endometrial cancer (Val/Leu vs. Leu/Leu: pooled OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.01-1.23; P = 0.039; I = 10.5%; (Val/Val +Val/Leu) vs. Leu/Leu: pooled OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.03-1.38; P = 0.017; I = 54.7%). As for CYP1B1 Asn453Ser(rs1800440) polymorphism, a decreased risk was observed in G allele compared with A allele (Ser vs. Asn: pooled OR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72-0.94; P = 0.005; I = 0.0%), and heterozygous genotype also showed a decreased risk compared with normal genotype (Ser/Asn vs. Asn/Asn: pooled OR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69-0.95; P = 0.011; I = 0.0%). As for COMT Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism, the heterogeneous genotype showed a decreased risk for endometrial cancer compared with the common homogenous genotype in a fixed-effect model in Asian population (Met/Val vs. Val/Val: pooled OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.70-0.98; P = 0.033; I = 29.2%), whereas no positive results are found in other subgroups or models.
CONCLUSIONS: COMT Val158Met was seen to show a decreased risk for endometrial cancer in Asian population. CYP1B1 Leu432Val and Asn453Ser polymorphisms demonstrated an increased and decreased risk for endometrial cancer, respectively. Further large and comprehensive studies in various populations with more detailed individual data are needed to confirm our findings.

Related: Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer Polymorphisms CYP1B1

Ates O, Demirturk F, Toprak M, Sezer S
Polymorphism of catechol-o-methyltransferase and uterine leiomyoma.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2013; 375(1-2):179-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine leiomyoma (ULM) is the most common gynecological benign tumor that is affecting around 20-50 % of women over the age of 30. Although its molecular pathogenesis is still unknown, ULM has a multifactorial etiology determined by both genetics and environmental factors. The present study was designed to find out whether Val158Met polymorphism in the catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is associated with the risk of ULM. We analyzed COMT Val158Met polymorphism in 105 ULMs patients and 105 healthy subjects using a polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. We found remarkably similar frequencies in ULM compared with controls for COMT Val158Met genotypes and alleles, and no association was found between ULM and this polymorphism (p = 0.46). The COMT 158 Met allele in patients with large (≥5 cm) fibroids was higher than in patients with small (<5 cm) fibroids, and significant association was found between fibroid size and COMT 158 Met allele (p = 0.011, OR 0.50, 95 %CI 0.28-0.90). Our results reflect that COMT Val158Met polymorphism is not associated with an increased risk of ULMs, but Val158Met polymorphism may be a risk factor for development of large fibroids in Turkish patients with ULM.

Zou LW, Xu XJ, Liu T, et al.
No association between COMT Val158Met polymorphism and prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2013; 17(1):78-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Results from published studies on the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and prostate cancer (PCa) risk are inconsistent. To derive a more precise estimate, we performed a meta-analysis.
METHODS: We searched in the PubMed and Elsevier Science Direct database for studies on the association between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and PCa. We used the odds ratio with 95% confidence interval for PCa risk, detected potential sources of heterogeneity with the Chi-square-based Q-test, performed sensitivity analysis of studies adapted to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
RESULTS: We found seven case-control studies included 2292 patients and 2158 controls. Fix-effects meta-analysis failed to explore any significant association of PCa with the genetic model and the allelic model of COMT Val158Met. We also did not detect any association in the subgroup analysis by ethnicity in all genetic models. The gene-based analysis suggested that the genetic polymorphism in COMT is not associated with PCa.
CONCLUSIONS: There is no association between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and PCa.

Related: Polymorphisms Prostate Cancer

Xiao L, Tong M, Jin Y, et al.
The l58Val/Met polymorphism of catechol-O-methyl transferase gene and prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(2):1835-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The association between COMT Val158Met polymorphism and prostate cancer has been evaluated. However, the results of these studies on the association remain conflicting. To derive a more precise estimation of the relationship, a meta-analysis was performed. A comprehensive search was conducted to identify the eligible studies of COMT Val158Met polymorphism and prostate cancer risk. Summary odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for COMT Val158Met polymorphism and prostate cancer were calculated. Statistical analysis was performed with the software program Review Manage (Version 5.0) and Stata (Version 12.0). Six case-control studies, totally 4,118 persons including 2,143 cases and 1,975 controls, met the included criteria and thus were selected. Our analysis suggested that Val158Met polymorphism was associated with prostate cancer risk in overall population. Collectively, the results of the present study suggest that significant associations of COMT Val158Met polymorphisms with prostate cancer were observed (for additive model: OR = 1.068, 95 % CI = 1.002-1.138, P (heterogeneity) = 0.363, P = 0.043; for dominant model: OR = 1.266, 95 % CI = 1.057-1.517, P (heterogeneity) = 0.000, P = 0.011; for recessive model: OR = 1.050, 95 % CI = 0.961-1.146, P (heterogeneity) = 0.558, P = 0.279; and Val allele versus Met allele OR = 0.932, 95 % CI = 0.894-0.971, P (heterogeneity) = 0.272, P = 0.001). In the subgroup analysis, we detected no significant association between the COMT 158 Val/Met genotype and prostate cancer risk in Caucasian and Asian populations, while the contrary result for additive model (OR = 2.43, 95 % CI = 1.08-5.43, P (heterogeneity) = 0.04, P = 0.03) in Asian populations. The result of this meta-analysis suggests that COMT l58Val/Met polymorphism might be contributed to the overall prostate cancer risk.

Related: Prostate Cancer

Wu W, Zhang J, Zhou L, et al.
Increased COMT expression in pancreatic cancer and correlation with clinicopathologic parameters.
Sci China Life Sci. 2012; 55(9):747-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) is an enzyme involved in estrogen metabolism. Proteomic and immunoproteomic screens suggested COMT might be an immunogenic membrane antigen in human pancreatic cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the dynamic expression of COMT in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and noncancerous pancreatic tissue, and to determine the relationship between COMT expression and clinicopathologic parameters. COMT expression was analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blot in five pancreatic cell lines and five pairs of PDAC and noncancerous pancreatic tissue. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate COMT expression in tissue microarrays and 20 cases of paraffin-embedded clinical specimens. The results indicated that COMT expression was detected in AsPC-1, BxPC-3, MIA PaCa-2, Capan-1 and SW1990 pancreatic cell lines, and in five pairs of PDAC and noncancerous pancreatic tissue, at the mRNA and protein levels. Immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that COMT expression was significantly higher in PDAC than in nonmalignant pancreatic tissue. High expression of COMT significantly correlated to early T stages. Therefore, we conclude that COMT might serve as a potential biomarker for applied clinical pathology in PDAC.

Related: Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer

Martínez-Ramírez OC, Pérez-Morales R, Castro C, et al.
Polymorphisms of catechol estrogens metabolism pathway genes and breast cancer risk in Mexican women.
Breast. 2013; 22(3):335-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is associated to estrogen exposure. Allelic variants involved in estrogen metabolism might change the risk of developing this neoplasia. We examined the potential association of breast cancer risk in Mexican women with the polymorphisms CYP1A1 rs1048943, CYP1B1 rs1056836, COMT rs4680, GSTP1 rs1695, GSTT1 null and GSTM1 null which are involved in estrogen metabolism pathway. This study included 150 cases and 150 controls. A significant association was observed between, CYP1A1 rs1048943 (OR = 1.95, C.I. 1.13-3.36) and GSTP1 rs1695 (OR = 2.39, C.I. 1.24-4.24) polymorphisms with the risk of breast cancer. This risk was increased when the women were stratified according to their menopausal status. The results show that breast cancer risk significantly increases in women with 3-6 risk polymorphisms (OR = 3.75, C.I. 1.44-9.74).

Related: Breast Cancer GSTP1 Polymorphisms Signal Transduction CYP1B1 GSTT1 GSTM1

Zhang Y, Hua S, Zhang A, et al.
Association between polymorphisms in COMT, PLCH1, and CYP17A1, and non-small-cell lung cancer risk in Chinese nonsmokers.
Clin Lung Cancer. 2013; 14(1):45-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, polymorphisms in COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase), PLCH1 (phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C eta 1), and CYP17A1 (cytochrome P450 17A1) were found to be associated with the development of lung cancer in a non-Chinese population.
AIMS: To explore the potential association between single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in COMT, PLCH1, CYP17A1, and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) susceptibility in Chinese patients who were nonsmokers.
METHODS: A case-controlled study was conducted in 200 patients with NSCLC and 200 healthy controls who were age and sex matched. SNPs rs4680, rs181696, and rs743572 from the COMT, PLCH1, and CYP17A1 genes, respectively, were selected for genotyping. The association between genotype and lung cancer risk was evaluated by computing the odds ratio and 95% confidence interval from multivariate unconditional logistic regression analyses with adjustment for sex and age.
RESULTS: The frequency of the G genotype in COMT rs4680 was statistically different between patients with NSCLC and controls (P = .04), and between patients with adenocarcinomas (ADC) and controls (P = .02). The frequency of the A genotype in PLCH1 rs181696 occurred more frequently in squamous cell carcinomas (SQC) than in controls (P = .02). The G/G homozygous genotype in COMT rs4680 and A/A homozygous genotype in PLCH1 rs181696 were associated with ADC and SQC, respectively (odds ratio [OR] 0.61 and OR 2.01, respectively).
CONCLUSION: In this study, we found that the COMT rs4680 SNP was significantly associated with a reduced risk of NSCLC, especially ADC, which suggests that this SNP may have a protective effect. Moreover, the PLCH1 rs181696 SNP was strongly associated with an increased risk of SQC, which suggests that this SNP may be a risk factor for developing SQC.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer CYP17A1

Grouzmann E, Matter M, Bilz S, et al.
Monoamine oxidase A down-regulation contributes to high metanephrine concentration in pheochromocytoma.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012; 97(8):2773-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: The high diagnostic performance of plasma-free metanephrines (metanephrine and normetanephrine) (MN) for pheochromocytoma (PHEO) results from the tumoral expression of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), the enzyme involved in O-methylation of catecholamines (CAT). Intriguingly, metanephrine, in contrast to epinephrine, is not remarkably secreted during a stress in hypertensive or normotensive subjects, whereas in PHEO patients CAT and MN are both raised to high levels. Because epinephrine and metanephrine are almost exclusively produced by the adrenal medulla, this suggests distinct CAT metabolism in chromaffin cells and pheochromocytes.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to compare CAT metabolism between adrenal medulla and PHEO tissue regarding related enzyme expression including monoamine oxidases (MAO) and COMT.
DESIGN: A multicenter comparative study was conducted.
STUDY PARTICIPANTS: The study included 21 patients with a histologically confirmed PHEO and eight adrenal glands as control.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: CAT, dihydroxyphenol-glycol, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, and MN were measured in adrenal medulla and PHEO tissue. Western blot, quantitative RT-PCR and immunofluorescence studies for MAOA, MAOB, tyrosine hydroxylase, dopamine β-hydroxylase, L-amino acid decarboxylase, and COMT were applied on tissue homogenates and cell preparations.
RESULTS: At both the protein and mRNA levels, MAOA and COMT are detected less often in PHEO compared with adrenal medulla, conversely to tyrosine hydroxylase, L-amino acid decarboxylase, and dopamine β-hydroxylase, much more expressed in tumor tissue. MAOB protein is detected less often in tumor but not differently expressed at the mRNA level. Dihydroxyphenol-glycol is virtually absent from tumor, whereas MN, produced by COMT, rises to 4.6-fold compared with adrenal medulla tissue. MAOA down-regulation was observed in 100% of tumors studied, irrespectively of genetic alteration identified; on the other hand, MAOA was strongly expressed in all adrenal medulla collected independently of age, gender, or late sympathetic activation of the deceased donor.
CONCLUSION: High concentrations of MN in tumor do not only arise from CAT overproduction but also from low MAOA expression, resulting in higher substrate availability for COMT.

Zhao YN, Zhang W, Chen YC, et al.
Relative imbalances in the expression of catechol-O-methyltransferase and cytochrome P450 in breast cancer tissue and their association with breast carcinoma.
Maturitas. 2012; 72(2):139-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression levels of genes encoding phase I and phase II estradiol-metabolizing enzymes, and their association with breast cancer risk in Chinese women.
METHODS: The mRNA expression levels of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1, 1B1 and 3A4 and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) were examined in the breast tumor tissues, matched adjacent non-tumor tissues and the tissues with benign breast disease (BBD) by fluorescent quantitative real-time PCR.
RESULTS: Compared to BBD tissue, the mRNA expression of CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and CYP3A4 significantly reduced by 81.8%, 77.5%, and 85.6%, respectively, in the breast tumor tissue and by 27.2%, 38.8%, and 51.3%, respectively, in the adjacent non-tumor tissue in average (p<0.0001). COMT mRNA was 6.9 and 6.4 fold higher in the breast tumor and match non-tumor tissue (p<0.0001) than in the BBD, respectively. The level of COMT detected in pre-menopausal group and lymph nodal stage N1-N2 group was lower than that in post-menopausal group (p=0.0292) and N0 group (p=0.0389), respectively.
CONCLUSION: Significantly deceased expression of estradiol-metabolizing enzymes might result in the excess exposure of intratumoural E2, which could be one of the important risk factors for breast cancer. Significantly elevated COMT expression suggested that COMT could play a key role in breast tumor formation.

Related: Breast Cancer TP53 CYP1B1

Reding KW, Chen C, Lowe K, et al.
Estrogen-related genes and their contribution to racial differences in breast cancer risk.
Cancer Causes Control. 2012; 23(5):671-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Racial differences in breast cancer risk, including the risks of hormone receptor subtypes of breast cancer, have been previously reported. We evaluated whether variation in genes related to estrogen metabolism (COMT, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYP17A1, CYP19A1, ESR1, GSTM1, GSTP1, GSTT1, HSD17B1, SULT1A1, and UGT1A1) contributes to breast cancer risk and/or racial differences in risk within the CARE study, a multi-centered, population-based case-control study of breast cancer. Genetic variation was assessed as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), haplotypes, and SNP-hormone therapy (HT) interactions within a subset of 1,644 cases and 1,451 controls, including 949 Black women (493 cases and 456 controls), sampled from the CARE study population. No appreciable associations with breast cancer risk were detected for single SNPs or haplotypes in women overall. We detected SNP-HT interactions in women overall within CYP1B1 (rs1800440; p (het) = 0.003) and within CYP17A1 (rs743572; p (het) = 0.009) in which never users of HT were at a decreased risk of breast cancer, while ever users were at a non-significant increased risk. When investigated among racial groups, we detected evidence of an SNP-HT interaction with CYP1B1 in White women (p value = 0.02) and with CYP17A1 in Black women (p value = 0.04). This analysis suggests that HT use may modify the effect of variation in estrogen-related genes on breast cancer risk, which may affect Black and White women to a different extent.

Related: Breast Cancer

Lim WY, Chen Y, Chuah KL, et al.
Female reproductive factors, gene polymorphisms in the estrogen metabolism pathway, and risk of lung cancer in Chinese women.
Am J Epidemiol. 2012; 175(6):492-503 [PubMed] Related Publications
The authors examined relations between reproductive factors and 5 estrogen pathway gene polymorphisms (CYP17 rs743572, CYP19A1 rs10046, ERβ rs1256049, ERβ rs4986938, and COMT rs4680) among 702 Singapore Chinese female lung cancer cases and 1,578 hospital controls, of whom 433 cases (61.7%) and 1,375 controls (87.1%) were never smokers. Parity (per child, odds ratio (OR) = 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.87, 0.97) and menstrual cycle length (for ≥30 days vs. <30 days, OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.80) were inversely associated with lung cancer in never smokers, while age at first birth (for ages 21-25, 26-30, and ≥31 years vs. ≤20 years, ORs were 1.54, 2.17, and 1.30, respectively), age at menopause (for ages 49-51 and ≥52 years vs. ≤48 years, ORs were 1.37 and 1.59; P(trend) = 0.003), and reproductive period (for 31-33, 34-36, 37-39, and ≥40 years vs. ≤30 years, ORs were 1.06, 1.25, 1.45, and 1.47; P(trend) = 0.026) were positively associated. Among smokers, parity was inversely associated with lung cancer, but there was no association with other reproductive factors. The COMT rs4680 A allele was positively associated with lung cancer in never smokers (for G/A or A/A vs. G/G, OR = 1.46, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.90) but not in ever smokers. No associations were seen with other polymorphisms. These results support a risk-enhancing role of estrogens in lung carcinogenesis among never smokers.

Related: Lung Cancer

He XF, Wei W, Li SX, et al.
Association between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of 30,199 cases and 38,922 controls.
Mol Biol Rep. 2012; 39(6):6811-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many studies have reported the role of COMT Val158Met with breast cancer risk, but the results remained controversial. In addition, previous meta-analysis on COMT Val158Met showed conflicting results. Hence, we performed a meta-analysis to investigate the association between breast cancer and COMT Val158Met (30,199 cases and 38,922 controls) in different inheritance models. When all the eligible studies were pooled into this meta-analysis, there was no evidence of significant association between breast cancer risk and COMT Val158Met polymorphism in any genetic model (dominant model: odds ratio [OR] = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.94-1.04, P value of heterogeneity test [P(h)] = 0.009, I(2) = 36.9%; recessive model: OR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.92-1.02, P(h) = 0.044, I(2) = 28.6%; additive model: OR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.91-1.05, P(h) = 0.004, I(2) = 40.4%). However, significant between-study heterogeneity was detected in any genetic model. Hence, we performed the stratified analysis according to ethnicity, source of controls, menopausal status, and family history. In the stratified analysis by ethnicity significantly decreased breast cancer risk was observed in Caucasian population (recessive model: OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.92-1.00, P(h) = 0.419, I(2) = 3.1%). In conclusion, this meta-analysis indicates that COMT Val158Met polymorphism may be associated with decreased breast cancer risk in Caucasian population. However, a study with the larger sample size is needed to further evaluated gene-environment interaction on COMT Val158Met polymorphisms and breast cancer risk.

Related: Breast Cancer

Matsuoka H, Arao T, Makimura C, et al.
Expression changes in arrestin β 1 and genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase are biomarkers for the response to morphine treatment in cancer patients.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 27(5):1393-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Genetic differences in individuals with regard to opioid-receptor signaling create clinical difficulties for opioid treatment; consequently, useful pharmacodynamic and predictive biomarkers are needed. In this prospective study, we studied gene expression changes in peripheral blood leukocytes using a microarray and real-time RT-PCR analysis to identify pharmacodynamic biomarkers for monitoring the effect of morphine in a cohort of opioid-treatment-naïve cancer patients. We also examined genetic variations in opioid receptor mu 1 (OPRM1, 118A→G) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, 472G→A) to evaluate predictive biomarkers of the treatment outcome of morphine. The plasma concentration of morphine was measured using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method. Microarray analysis revealed that the mRNA expression levels of arrestin β 1 (ARRB1) were significantly down-regulated by morphine treatment. Real-time RT-PCR analysis against independent samples confirmed the results (P=0.003) and changes during treatment were negatively correlated with the plasma morphine concentration (R=-0.42). No correlation was observed between the genotype of OPRM1 and morphine treatment; however, the plasma concentration of morphine and the required dose of morphine were significantly lower for the A/A genotype of COMT (vs. A/G+G/G, P=0.008 and 0.03). We found that changes in the expression of ARRB1 may be a novel pharmacodynamic biomarker and the COMT 472G→A genotype may be a predictive biomarker of the response to morphine treatment.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Dumas I, Diorio C
Estrogen pathway polymorphisms and mammographic density.
Anticancer Res. 2011; 31(12):4369-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Elevated mammographic density (MD) is strongly associated with breast cancer risk and the estrogen pathway has been proposed as a potential mechanism for this association. It has been repeatedly observed that several established estrogen-related factors associated with breast cancer risk, such as parity and hormone replacement therapy, are also associated with MD. However, the association of circulating estrogen levels (known to be strongly positively associated with breast cancer risk) with MD has so far been inconsistent. Since MD is highly heritable, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in the estrogen pathway and their relation with MD could provide information that would help understand the link between MD and breast cancer risk. This review of 18 studies describes the relation of SNPs located in genes of the estrogen pathway (genes coding for hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (HSD3B1, HSD17B1), cytochrome P450 (CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP17A1, CYP19A1 and CYP1B1), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), uridine diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1), sulfotransferases (SULT1A1, SULT1E1) and for estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ESR1, ESR2)) with MD. Most of the SNPs evaluated showed no association with MD when analyses were performed on overall study population. However, when this relation was assessed within strata based on estrogen-related factors, a few SNPs (HSD17B1 (rs2010750, rs598126 and rs676387), COMT (rs4680), UGT1A1 (rs8175347) and ESR1 (rs9340799)) seemed to be related to MD in the same direction of their associations with breast cancer risk. Since such data are very limited, additional research including stratified analyses by factors related to estrogen are needed to validate these findings.

Related: Breast Cancer

Hill LD, Ewens KG, Maher BS, et al.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes are not major risk factors for polycystic ovary syndrome.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012; 350(1):72-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that affects 5-8% of reproductive age women. The primary features of PCOS are hyperandrogenemia, chronic anovulation and infertility. It has been suggested that defects in ovarian steroid metabolism contribute to the follicular growth arrest and abnormal production of ovarian steroid hormones that are characteristic of PCOS. 2-Methoxyestradiol (2-ME) is formed by the action of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) on 2-hydroxyestradiol. COMT expression is increased in the follicles and ovarian stroma of women with PCOS. Moreover, 2-ME decreases granulosa cell proliferation and steroidogenesis, raising the possibility that ovarian dysfunction associated with PCOS is due, in part, to increased synthesis of 2-ME resulting from increased COMT activity. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, rs4680) in the COMT gene characterize haplotypes, which are associated with large variations in COMT enzymatic activity. The aim of this study was to determine whether individual COMT SNPs and the COMT haplotypes are associated with PCOS using a family-based test of association and linkage. Additionally, we examined the relationships between COMT SNPs and haplotypes with quantitative variables usually assessed in the evaluation of women with PCOS. There were no significant correlations between genotype and total testosterone, non-SHBG bound testosterone and BMI. However, we found that the prolactin level in women with PCOS varied significantly with COMT haplotype, and suggest that this association reflects a genetic factor influencing the stress response. Our findings suggest that common variants and haplotypes of the COMT gene are not major contributors to risk for PCOS, but that COMT genotype may influence prolactin levels.

Julius JM, Gaikwad A, Lowry A, et al.
Defining the role of echinocandin catechol functional groups in the development of secondary hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Antimicrob Chemother. 2012; 67(2):422-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the catechol functional group on echinocandins decreases the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolism of catechol oestrogens (CEs) and the potential role of this functional group in the development of hepatocellular cancer.
METHODS: Human COMT expression was measured by RT-PCR in a panel of selected human cancer cell lines and human hepatocytes. An ex vivo human hepatocyte model was employed to evaluate the metabolism of 17-β-oestradiol to CEs in the presence of a catechol (B(0)C) versus a non-catechol echinocandin (B(0)) compound. COMT inhibition assays were conducted to evaluate the metabolism of CEs in the presence of B(0)C or B(0). Oestrogen receptor expression in human hepatic carcinoma cells was evaluated by RT-PCR and western blotting. Cell proliferation assays were used to evaluate the impact of B(0) or B(0)C on cancer cell growth.
RESULTS: MCF-7 and Hep-G2 cells and human hepatocytes expressed variant Met/Met COMT. At clinically relevant concentrations, only B(0)C significantly increased CE levels in the COMT inhibition assays, to 90.0 μM compared with 79.8 μM in the untreated controls (P = 0.032). A high concentration (500 μg/mL) of B(0)C decreased COMT expression to 79%, 94% and 90% of untreated, baseline control levels in the three cell lines, respectively. B(0)C and B(0) did not increase cell growth in the cancer cell lines evaluated.
CONCLUSIONS: At clinically achievable concentrations only B(0)C significantly inhibited COMT activity and increased CE concentrations. Short-term exposure did not alter the rate of cancer cell growth. Confirmation is needed to determine the clinical impact of long-term exposure to and the use of echinocandins with catechol functional groups.

Lajin B, Hamzeh AR, Ghabreau L, et al.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val 108/158 Met polymorphism and breast cancer risk: a case control study in Syria.
Breast Cancer. 2013; 20(1):62-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inactivates catechol estrogens by methylation and thus may play a protective role against mutations induced by estrogen metabolites. In this study we investigated the relationship between the Vall58Met polymorphism in the COMT gene and breast cancer risk in a population-based case control study in Syria.
METHODS: We examined 135 breast cancer patients and 107 healthy controls in North Syria to determine the association between the functional genetic Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene and female breast cancer risk.
RESULTS: There was no significant overall association between the COMT genotype and individual susceptibility to breast cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that there may be no overall association between the COMT genotype and breast cancer.

Related: Breast Cancer Polymorphisms

Naushad SM, Pavani A, Rupasree Y, et al.
Modulatory effect of plasma folate and polymorphisms in one-carbon metabolism on catecholamine methyltransferase (COMT) H108L associated oxidative DNA damage and breast cancer risk.
Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2011; 48(4):283-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study was aimed to investigate the modulatory role of plasma folate and eight putatively functional polymorphisms of one-carbon metabolism on catecholamine methyltransferase (COMT)-mediated oxidative DNA damage and breast cancer risk. Plasma folate and 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) were estimated by commercially available kits, while polymorphisms were screened by PCR-RFLP and PCR-AFLP methods. COMT H108L polymorphism showed independent association with breast cancer (OR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.31-2.30). No significant interaction was observed between folate status and COMT genotype. Multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) analysis gave evidence for the significant epistatic (gene-gene) interactions (p<0.0001) of COMT H108L with reduced folate carrier 1 (RFC1) G80A, thymidylate synthase (TYMS) 5'-UTR 3R2R, TYMS 3'-UTR ins6/de16. Increased plasma 8-oxodG were observed in cases compared to controls (mean +/- SE: 5.59 +/- 0.60 vs. 3.50 +/- 0.40 ng/ml, p<0.004). Plasma folate deficiency alone was not a significant predictor of 8-oxodG elevation. The genotype combinations namely, RFC1 G80A/methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) A66G, RFC1 G80A/SHMT C1420T/TYMS 3R2R and serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) C1420T/TYMS 3R2R/methionine synthase (MTR) A2756G/COMT H108L were strong predictors of 8-oxodG elevation in the order of risk. To conclude, the current study provides substantial evidence for a cross talk between one-carbon metabolism and COMT catalysis that might influence oxidative DNA damage and breast cancer risk.

Related: Breast Cancer Polymorphisms

Lin S, Lin CJ, Hsieh DP, Li LA
ERα phenotype, estrogen level, and benzo[a]pyrene exposure modulate tumor growth and metabolism of lung adenocarcinoma cells.
Lung Cancer. 2012; 75(3):285-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Women have a higher risk of lung adenocarcinoma than men, suggesting that estrogen pathway may be involved in the pathogenesis of this cancer. This study was designed to determine whether ERα expression, estrogen levels, and endocrine disruptor exposure would influence tumor growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells using a xenograft model in which human lung adenocarcinoma cells with and without transgenic ERα expression were transplanted into female nude mice. Results showed that estrogen promoted tumor growth of ERα(+) lung adenocarcinoma cells but inhibited that of ERα(-) lung adenocarcinoma cells. Endocrine disruptor benzo[a]pyrene stimulated ERα(-) tumor growth dose dependently. Either of ovariectomy and ERα expression abolished the tumor growth-promoting effect of benzo[a]pyrene. The high CYP1B1/CYP1A1 and low COMT/CYP1B1 expression ratios detected in ERα(+) tumors suggested an accumulation of 4-hydroxyestradiol metabolite under high body estrogen, whereas comparable CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 expression plus estrogen-inducible COMT expression might favor the formation of 2-methoxyestradiol in ERα(-) tumors. Inhibition of estrogen on ERα(-) tumor growth might be partly attributable to the anti-proliferative action of 2-methoxyestradiol. Benzo[a]pyrene increased expression of CYP1B1 over CYP1A1 and suppressed estrogen-induced COMT up-regulation in ERα(-) tumor cells, probably switching estrogen metabolism to 4-hydroxyestradiol formation and removing the inhibition of 2-methoxyestradiol on ERα(-) tumors. ERα inhibited AhR from up-regulating CYP1 in response to benzo[a]pyrene exposure, but it increased angiogenic VEGF-A expression with body estrogen levels. Estrogen might increase ERα(+) lung adenocarcinoma growth by up-regulating cancer-related ERα target gene expression.

Related: Lung Cancer ESR1 CYP1B1


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