Genetic polymorphism in ornithine decarboxylase and risk of breast cancer

Iain Brown, Susan Halliday, Heather Greig, Steven D Heys, Heather M Wallace, Andrew C Schofield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the first enzyme in the biosynthesis of polyamines, has increased activity in breast cancer tissue compared with benign and normal tissues. The ODC gene contains a single nucleotide polymorphism in which a guanine is substituted for an adenine. This study investigated whether the ODC +316 G > A polymorphism (rs2302615) was associated with the risk of developing breast cancer. A case–control study involving 121 controls, without breast cancer, 46 patients with breast cancer but without a family history, and 130 breast cancer cases with a family history of breast cancer was conducted. A nested PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism procedure and the TaqMan 5' nuclease assay was used to genotype individuals. Risk was significantly lower for heterozygote (GA genotype) individuals [odds ratio (OR) = 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17–0.86, P = 0.018], or individuals with at least one A allele (OR = 0.44, 95% CI 0.21–0.92, P = 0.027), without family history. This protective effect of having at least one copy of the variant A allele was not as strong, however, in those with a family history of the disease. In sporadic breast cancer, the presence of at least one A allele is protective against the disease. The influence of this polymorphism may be less important in individuals with an inherited breast cancer predisposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalFamilial Cancer
Issue number4
Early online date19 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • breast cancer
  • case-control study
  • ODC
  • polyamine
  • gene polymorphism


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