Selenium levels in human breast carcinoma tissue are associated with a common polymorphism in the gene for SELENOP (Selenoprotein P)

Dede N. Ekoue, Sofia Zaichick, Klara Valyi-Nagy, Matthew Picklo, Craig Lacher, Kent Hoskins, Michael A. Warso, Marcelo G. Bonini, Alan M. Diamond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Selenium supplementation of the diets of rodents has consistently been shown to suppress mammary carcinogenesis and some, albeit not all, human epidemiological studies have indicated an inverse association between selenium and breast cancer risk. In order to better understand the role selenium plays in breast cancer, 30 samples of tumor tissue were obtained from women with breast cancer and analyzed for selenium concentration, the levels of several selenium-containing proteins and the levels of the MnSOD anti-oxidant protein. Polymorphisms within the genes for these same proteins were determined from DNA isolated from the tissue samples. There was a wide range of selenium in these tissues, ranging from 24 to 854 ng/gm. The selenium levels in the tissues were correlated to the genotype of the SELENOP selenium carrier protein, but not to other proteins whose levels have been reported to be responsive to selenium availability, including GPX1, SELENOF and SBP1. There was an association between a polymorphism in the gene for MnSOD and the levels of the encoded protein. These studies were the first to examine the relationship between selenium levels, genotypes and protein levels in human tissues. Furthermore, the obtained data provide evidence for the need to obtain data about the effects of selenium in breast cancer by examining samples from that particular tissue type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • GPX1
  • Glutathione peroxidase-1
  • Manganese superoxide dismutase
  • MnSOD
  • Polymorphisms
  • Selenium
  • Selenoprotein P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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