Serum selenium and single-nucleotide polymorphisms in genes for selenoproteins: Relationship to markers of oxidative stress in men from Auckland, New Zealand

Nishi Karunasinghe, Dug Yeo Han, Shuotun Zhu, Jie Yu, Katja Lange, He Duan, Roxanne Medhora, Nabitha Singh, James Kan, Waseem Alzaher, Benson Chen, Sarah Ko, Christopher M. Triggs, Lynnette R. Ferguson

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64 Citations (Scopus)


There is controversy as to the recommended daily intake of selenium (Se), and whether current New Zealand diets are adequate in this nutrient. Various functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) polymorphisms may affect the efficacy of Se utilisation. These include the glutathione peroxidases GPx1 rs1050450, GPx4 rs713041, as well as selenoproteins SEPP1 rs3877899, SEL15 rs5845, SELS rs28665122 and SELS rs4965373. This cross-sectional study measured serum Se levels of 503 healthy Caucasian men in Auckland, New Zealand, between ages 20–81. The Se distribution was compared with activities of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase, and DNA damage as measured by the single cell gel electrophoresis assay, both without and with a peroxide-induced oxidative challenge. Serum Se was measured using inductively coupled plasma-dynamic reaction cell-mass spectrometry, while selenoprotein SNPs were estimated using TaqMan® SNP genotyping assays. While antioxidant enzyme activities and DNA damage recorded after a peroxide challenge increased with increasing serum selenium, the inherent DNA damage levels in leukocytes showed no statistically significant relationship with serum selenium. However, these relationships and dietary Se requirements at the individual level were modified by several different SNPs in genes for selenoproteins. The GPx1 rs1050450 C allele was significantly associated with GPx activity. Significant correlations between serum Se level and GPX activity were seen with all genotypes except for homozygous minor allele carriers, while the GPx1 rs1050450 CT genotype showed the highest correlation. Several genotypes showed significant correlations between serum Se and TR activity with SEPP1 rs3877899 GG genotype showing the highest correlation. A significant decreasing trend in DNA damage with increasing serum Se was seen among GPx1 rs1050450 CC and GPx4 rs713041 TT genotype carriers up to a serum Se level of 116 and 149 ng/ml, respectively. In the absence of this genetic information, we would recommend a serum Se concentration in the region of 100–150 ng/ml as providing a useful compromise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Selenium (Se)
  • glutathione peroxidase (GPx)
  • thioredoxin reductase (TR)
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)

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