1 National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Division of Toxicology and Risk Assessment, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 Newcastle University4 University of Copenhagen5 Danish Cancer Society6 National Research Center for Working Environment7 Danish Cancer Society
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common cancers in women. Evidence suggests that genetic variation in antioxidant enzymes could influence BC risk, but to date the relationship between selenoproteins and BC risk remains unclear. In this report, a study population including 975 Danish cases and 975 controls matched for age and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use was genotyped for five functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SEPP1, GPX1, GPX4 and the antioxidant enzyme SOD2 genes. The influence of genetic polymorphisms on breast cancer risk was assessed using conditional logistic regression. Additionally pre-diagnosis erythrocyte GPx (eGPx) activity was measured in a sub-group of the population. A 60% reduction in risk of developing overall BC and ductal BC was observed in women who were homozygous Thr carriers for SEPP1 rs3877899. Additionally, Leu carriers for GPX1 Pro198Leu polymorphism (rs1050450) were at ∼2 fold increased risk of developing a non-ductal BC. Pre-diagnosis eGPx activity was found to depend on genotype for rs713041 (GPX4), rs3877899 (SEPP1), and rs1050450 (GPX1) and on HRT use. Moreover, depending on genotype and HRT use, eGPx activity was significantly lower in women who developed BC later in life compared with controls. Furthermore, GPx1 protein levels increased in human breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 cells exposed to β-estradiol and sodium selenite.In conclusion, our data provide evidence that SNPs in SEPP1 and GPX1 modulate risk of BC and that eGPx activity is modified by SNPs in SEPP1, GPX4 and GPX1 and by estrogens. Our data thus suggest a role of selenoproteins in BC development.