Original Articles: PDF OnlyLondon Stephanie J.; Daly, Ann K.; Leathart, Julian B.S.; Navidi, William C.; Idle, Jeffrey R.Pharmacogenetics: December 1996 - p 527-533 Buy Abstract CYP2C9 is involved in the metabolism of warfarin and a wide array of other therapeutic agents. It also appears to play a role, along with other cytochrome P450 enzymes, in the metabolism of benzo[α]pyrene, a carcinogen in tobacco smoke. A relatively common allelic variant (termed R144C, Cys144 or more recently CYP2C9*2) has been described that results in the substitution of cysteine for arginine at residue 144 and appears to reduce enzyme activity. We therefore examined the possible association between the presence of the CYP2C9*2 variant allele and risk of lung cancer using peripheral blood DNA from 329 incident cases of lung cancer (152 African-American and 177 Caucasian) and 700 (239 African-American and 461 Caucasian) population controls in Los Angeles County, California. Among the population controls the frequency of the CYP2C9*2 variant allele was lower (p=0.00002) among African-Americans (0.036) than among Caucasians (0.100). The presence of the CYP2C9*2 variant allele was not associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer; slight but nonstatistically significant elevations in risk were observed for both African-Americans [odds ratio (OR) 1.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.48-3.11] and Caucasians (OR=1.55, 95% CI 0.96-2.48). The ORs were slightly and nonsignificantly elevated for all histologic types without substantive variation. The association also did not vary materially according to smoking history or whether subjects had the homozygous deletion of the GSTM1 gene. We found no support for the hypothesis that the CYP2C9*2 variant allele decreases the risk of lung cancer. The role of P450s, including CYP2C9, in benzo[α]pyrene metabolism is not fully defined, and CYP2C9 catalyses detoxication as well as activation steps. Thus it is not inconceivable that diminished CYP2C9 activity could increase metabolic activation of benzo[α]pyrene to carcinogenic intermediates. Nonetheless, the small increased risk associated the CYP2C9*2 variant allele in our data is consistent with chance and should not be overinterpreted. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.