PloS one

SNP (-617C>A) in ARE-like loci of the NRF2 gene: a new biomarker for prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma in Japanese non-smoking women.

PMID 24040073


The transcription factor NRF2 plays a pivotal role in protecting normal cells from external toxic challenges and oxidative stress, whereas it can also endow cancer cells resistance to anticancer drugs. At present little information is available about the genetic polymorphisms of the NRF2 gene and their clinical relevance. We aimed to investigate the single nucleotide polymorphisms in the NRF2 gene as a prognostic biomarker in lung cancer. We prepared genomic DNA samples from 387 Japanese patients with primary lung cancer and detected SNP (c.-617C>A; rs6721961) in the ARE-like loci of the human NRF2 gene by the rapid genetic testing method we developed in this study. We then analyzed the association between the SNP in the NRF2 gene and patients' overall survival. Patients harboring wild-type (WT) homozygous (c.-617C/C), SNP heterozygous (c.-617C/A), and SNP homozygous (c.-617A/A) alleles numbered 216 (55.8%), 147 (38.0%), and 24 (6.2%), respectively. Multivariate logistic regression models revealed that SNP homozygote (c.-617A/A) was significantly related to gender. Its frequency was four-fold higher in female patients than in males (10.8% female vs 2.7% male) and was associated with female non-smokers with adenocarcinoma. Interestingly, lung cancer patients carrying NRF2 SNP homozygous alleles (c.-617A/A) and the 309T (WT) allele in the MDM2 gene exhibited remarkable survival over 1,700 days after surgical operation (log-rank p = 0.021). SNP homozygous (c.-617A/A) alleles in the NRF2 gene are associated with female non-smokers with adenocarcinoma and regarded as a prognostic biomarker for assessing overall survival of patients with lung adenocarcinoma.