The glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a family of phase II xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes known to be involved in the detoxification and elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus defending tissues against oxidative stress. Recently, several studies have examined the potential contributions of GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene polymorphisms toward susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but these studies have produced diverse results. To verify the association between GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene polymorphisms and susceptibility to RA, we conducted a meta-analysis of all relevant reports cited in MEDLINE/PubMed before April 2012. A meta-analysis on the association between the GSTM1 polymorphism and RA was performed for 4636 patients with RA and 3916 controls from 8 published studies. In addition, a total of 5 studies involving 3174 RA patients and 2958 controls were considered in the meta-analysis of the association between the GSTT1 polymorphism and RA. No significant association was found between the GSTM1 null genotype and RA susceptibility in all subjects; however, a significant increased risk was found in East Asians. The GSTT1 null genotype was not associated with susceptibility to RA in any study subject. No apparent effect of smoking was found in stratified analysis. The results of our meta-analysis indicated that the GSTM1 null genotype is significantly associated with RA in East Asians alone, indicating that GSTM1 is another non-human leukocyte antigen (non-HLA) susceptibility gene for RA in East Asian populations.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
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