Apolipoprotein E genetic polymorphism, serum lipoproteins, and breast cancer risk.Mol Carcinog 2000; 27(1):2-9MC
Apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a polymorphic gene involved in lipid metabolism with three common variant alleles (epsilon2, epsilon3, and epsilon4). The epsilon4 allele has been associated with elevated levels of cholesterol as well as greater risk of coronary heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. In this case-control study we examined whether apoE genotype affected the association between serum lipids and breast cancer risk. In a subset of a study in western New York, 260 women with incident, primary breast cancer and 332 community controls were interviewed and provided blood samples. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses of the apoE polymorphism were performed. Participants were classified as apoE2 (epsilon2, epsilon2 or epsilon2, epsilon3), apoE3 (epsilon3, epsilon3), or apoE4 (epsilon4, epsilon4 or epsilon4, epsilon3). No unconditional logistic regression was used to compute adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Compared with women with the apoE3 genotype, there were no associations with risk for women with the apoE2 (OR=1.0; 95% CI=0. 91-1.64) or apoE4 genotype (OR=0.97; 95% CI=0.63-1.54). Higher serum levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were not associated with risk, either in the total sample or among subgroups of women defined by apoE genotype. Women with the highest serum triglyceride levels had an increase in risk (OR=1.63; 95% CI=1. 03-2.59) compared to women with the lowest levels. This effect was not apparent among women with the apoE2 or apoE3 genotype, but much stronger among women with the apoE4 genotype (OR=4.69; 95% CI=1. 49-14.7). These data suggest that the apoE4 genotype may modify the association between serum triglycerides and breast cancer risk.