Increased levels of aflatoxin-albumin adducts are associated with CYP3A5 polymorphisms in The Gambia, West Africa

Leszek Wojnowski, Paul C. Turner, Bonnie Pedersen, Elisabeth Hustert, Jürgen Brockmöller, Maimuna Mendy, Hilton C. Whittle, Greg Kirk, Christopher P. Wild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objectives Major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are hepatitis viruses and exposure to aflatoxins, including aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). The mutagenic effect of AFB1 results from hepatic bioactivation to AFB1-exo-8,9-epoxide. This is in part catalysed by CYP3A5, an enzyme expressed polymorphically. We investigated the role of CYP3A5 polymorphisms in the formation of AFB1-exo-8,9-epoxide in The Gambia, a population exposed to high aflatoxin levels. Methods Common CYP3A5 polymorphisms were identified in an African-American population. Subsequently, 288 Gambian subjects were genotyped and CYP3A5 activity predicted using haplotypes of the three variant loci (CYP3A5*3, *6 and *7) associated with decreases in protein expression. CYP3A5 expression was then compared to aflatoxin-albumin (AF-alb) adduct, a biomarker of AFB1 bioactivation; data were also analysed in relation to expression of other aflatoxin-metabolizing enzymes. Results CYP3A5 haplotypes reflecting high CYP3A5 protein expression were associated with increased AF-alb. Compared to individuals with predicted low expression those predicted to express CYP3A5 from one allele displayed 16.1% higher AF-alb (85% CI: -2.5, 38.2, P = 0.083) and homozygous expressers displayed 23.2% higher AF-alb levels (95% CI: -0.01, 52.0, P = 0.051). The effect of the CYP3A5 polymorphism was strongest in individuals with low CYP3A4 activity with a 70.1% increase in AF-alb (95% CI: 11.8, 158.7, P < 0.05) in high compared to low expressers. A similar effect was observed for individuals with null alleles of GSTM1, which conjugates the AFB1-exo-8,9-epoxide to reduced glutathione. Conclusions The CYP3A5 polymorphism is associated with increased levels of the mutagenic AFB1-exo-8,9-epoxide, particularly in individuals with low CYP3A4, and this may modulate individual risk of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-700
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Aflatoxins
  • CYP3A5
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased levels of aflatoxin-albumin adducts are associated with CYP3A5 polymorphisms in The Gambia, West Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this