The association between the 844ins68 polymorphism in the gene and breast cancer


The cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) gene plays an important role in homocysteine metabolism because it catalyzes the first step of the transsulfuration pathway, during which homocysteine is converted to cystathionine. Polymorphisms of CBS have been associated with cancer.

Material and methods

We examined the role of the 844ins68 polymorphism by comparing the genotypes of 371 healthy Mexican women with the genotypes of 323 Mexican women with breast cancer (BC).


The observed genotype frequencies for controls and BC patients were 1% and 2% for Ins/Ins, 13% and 26% for W/Ins, and 86% and 72% for W/W, respectively. We found that the odds ratio (OR) was 2.2, with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of 1.5–3.3, p = 0.0001. The association was also evident when comparing the distribution of the W/Ins-Ins/Ins genotypes in patients in the following categories: 1) menopause and high γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels (OR of 2.17, 95% CI: 1.17–4.26, p = 0.02), 2) chemotherapy response and high lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels (OR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.08–4.4, p = 0.027), 3) chemotherapy response and high GGT levels (OR 2.46, 95% CI: 1.2–4.8, p = 0.007), and 4) body mass index (BMI) and III–IV tumor stage (OR 3.2, 95% CI: 1.2–8.3, p = 0.013).


We conclude that the genotypes W/Ins-Ins/Ins of the 844ins68 polymorphism in the CBS gene contribute significantly to BC susceptibility in the analyzed sample from the Mexican population.