Purpose of the study:

Deregulated DNA repair is one of the hallmarks of cancers including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), as it results in genomic instability. ATM gene functions as a sensor, activates cascade of events leading to stimulation of multiple DNA damage- responsive signaling pathways. Principal DNA repair mechanism activated in the hematopoietic stem cells is the Non Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) pathway. However, this pathway was shown to be error prone. Functional SNPs in the genes involved in DNA repair might influence the gene expression leading to altered DNA repair which might confer the risk to AML.

Materials & Methods:

This hospital-based case-control study included 225 AML patients and 326 cancer-free controls from South Indian population. Six polymorphisms of XRCC5, XRCC6, XRCC7 and ATM were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR- RFLP) method. Statistical analyses were performed by using SPSS (version20v) and SNPSTAT online tool. Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) analysis was also done to see the relationship between these genes.


We found that there was an elevated risk of AML associated with the XRCC5 VNTR 0R repeat and A allele of 2408G>A polymorphism (p-0.04 and p<0.0001 respectively), the frequencies of G allele (p-<0.0001) of XRCC6 -1310C>G and T allele (p-0.003) of ATM -5144A>T polymorphisms were also significantly increased in AML cases. Further, analyses of the variant genotypes with epidemiological and clinical variables revealed a significant association of the risk genotypes with development and progression of AML.

Conclusion: The XRCC5 0R repeat, 2408G>A, XRCC6 -1310 C>G and ATM- 5144A>T polymorphisms, but not XRCC6 -61C>G and XRCC7 6721G>T polymorphisms, play an important role in the pathogenesis of AML.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.