The p53 pathway plays a critical role in maintaining genomic stability and preventing tumor formation. Given the roles of both MDM4 and HPV16 E6 oncoproteins in inhibition of p53 activity, we tested the hypothesis that MDM4 polymorphisms are associated with the risk of HPV16-associated squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN).METHODS:
Genotyping was conducted on 3 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs11801299 G>A, rs10900598 G>T, and rs1380576 C>G) in MDM4, and serology was used to determine HPV 16 exposure in 380 cases and 335 cancer-free controls that were frequency-matched by age, sex, smoking, and drinking status.RESULTS:
None of 3 MDM4 polymorphisms alone was significantly associated with risk of overall SCCHN. With further analysis stratified by HPV16 serology and tumor site, we found that each polymorphism individually modified the risk of HPV16-associated squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP), and such effect modification was particularly pronounced in never smokers and never drinkers.CONCLUSION:
The risk of HPV16-associated SCCOP could be modified by MDM4 polymorphisms. Large and prospective studies are needed to validate our findings. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.
MDM4 polymorphisms may modify the risk of HPV16-associated SCCOP, and may be a marker of genetic susceptibility to HPV16-associated SCCOP, particularly in never smokers and never drinkers.