Selenium (Se), a dietary trace metal essential for human health, is incorporated into ~25 selenoproteins including selenoprotein S (SelS) and the 15-kDa selenoprotein (Sep15) both of which have functions in the endoplasmic reticulum protein unfolding response. The aim of this study was to investigate whether genetic variants in such selenoprotein genes are associated with altered risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). A Korean population of 827 patients with CRC and 733 healthy controls was genotyped for 7 SNPs in selenoprotein genes and one SNP in the gene encoding manganese superoxide dismutase using Sequenom technology. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that after adjustment for lifestyle factors three SNP variants were associated with altered disease risk. There was a mean odds ratio of 2.25 [95% CI 1.13,4.48] in females homozygous TT for rs34713741 in SELS with the T variant being associated with higher risk of rectal cancer, and odds ratios of 2.47 and 2.51, respectively, for rs5845 and rs5859 in SEP15 with the minor A and T alleles being associated with increased risk of male rectal cancer. The data indicate that the minor alleles for rs5845, rs5859 and rs34713741 are associated with increased rectal cancer risk and that the effects of the three SNPs are dependent on gender. The results highlight potential links between Se, the function of two selenoproteins involved in the protein unfolding response and CRC risk. Further studies are required to investigate whether the effects of the variants on CRC risk are also modulated by dietary Se intake.