B. M. Ryan, R. McManus, J. S. Daly, E. Carton, P. W. Keeling, J. V. Reynolds and D. Kelleher ‘A common p73 polymorphism is associated with a reduced incidence of oesophageal carcinoma’ in British Journal of Cancer, 85, (10), 2001, pp 1499-1503
British Journal of Cancer 85 10
The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma is rising; to date, no susceptibility genes have been identified. p73, a novel p53 homologue, maps to chromosome 1p36, a region commonly deleted in oesophageal cancers. p73 shares some p53-like activity, but in addition, may also play a role in gastrointestinal epithelial inflammatory responses. A non-coding p73 polymorphism (denoted AT or GC) may be functionally significant. We investigated whether this polymorphism might play a role in the aetiopathogenesis of oesophageal cancer. This was a case–control, retrospective study. 84 cases of oesophageal cancer (25 squamous and 59 adenocarcinoma) and 152 normal population controls were genotyped for this polymorphism. Informative cases were examined for p73 LOH within the tumour. AT/AT homozygotes were significantly less prevalent in the oesophageal cancer population (1/84 = 1.2%) compared to controls (15/152 = 9.9%) (P < 0.02), corresponding to an odds ratio of 0.11 (95% C.I. 0.02–0.6, P < 0.02), or 9-fold reduced risk. Moreover, AT/AT homozygotes were significantly less frequent in the cancer population than would be expected under the Hardy–Weinberg hypothesis (P = 0.0099). LOH at the p73 locus was observed in 37.8% (14/37) of the AT/GC heterozygotes studied; in all cases there was loss of the AT allele. Our findings indicate that p73 AT/AT homozygotes appear to be protected against the development of oesophageal cancer. Clinically, this observation could have implications in aiding identification of high-risk Barrett's oesophagus patients.
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