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Occupational sunlight exposure, polymorphism of glutathione S-transferase M1, and senile cataract risk
  1. M Saadat1,
  2. M Farvardin-Jahromi2
  1. 1Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M Saadat
 Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz 71454, Iran; saadat{at}


Background: The pathogenesis of cataract is influenced by a number of factors including oxidative stress. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) catalyses the nucleophilic addition of the thiol of GST to electrophilic acceptors. It is important for detoxification of xenobiotics in order to protect tissues from oxidative damage.

Objectives: To examine whether the interaction of polymorphism of GSTM1 gene and occupational sunlight exposure modulate the risk of cataract.

Methods: Blood samples from 95 subjects with cataract and 95 age and sex matched healthy persons were collected. The genotypes of GSTM1 were determined using PCR.

Results: The null genotype of GSTM1 was associated with an increase in cataract risk in the indoor workplace, but this association was not significant in the outdoor subjects.

Conclusion: The active genotype of GSTM1 has lost its protective role in persons who work outdoors. It is suggested that activity of the GSTμ enzyme may be inhibited in the human lens after occupational exposure to UV light.

  • cataract
  • ultraviolet
  • genetic polymorphism
  • GSTM1

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  • Published Online First 21 March 2006

  • Competing interests: none declared