The association between non-melanoma skin cancer and a young dimorphic Alu element within the major histocompatibility complex class I genomic region

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A non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) susceptibility locus within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I region was previously identified telomeric of the HLA-C gene using high-density microsatellite markers. Here, we have extended the previous microsatellite study by using the same DNA samples obtained from 154 NMSC patients and 213 normal controls from the town of Busselton in Western Australia and examined the relationship between five polymorphic Alu insertions (POALINs) within the MHC class I region and their association with NMSC. The genotype distribution of the AluyTF insertion that is located within the NMSC susceptibility region telomeric of the HLA-C gene was significantly increased according to the Fisher's exact test in the NMSC patients, and it was not in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium in the control group. There was no difference between the cancer patients and controls for the genotypes of the AluyMICB locus within intron 1 of the MICB gene and the other three POALINs (AluyHJ, AluyHG and AluyHF) that are located within the genomic region of the HLA-A, -G and -F gene cluster. The test for significant linkage disequilibrium for 10 pairs of POALIN loci and estimations of two locus POALIN haplotype frequencies also revealed AluyTF differences between the cases and controls. In conclusion, the MHC class I POALIN, AluyTF, that is located within the NMSC susceptibility locus and near the HLA-C gene was strongly associated with NMSC. This finding, using five different polymorphic Alu insertion markers, supports the previous microsatellite association study that one or more genes located in close proximity to the AluyTF insertion has a potential role in NMSC.

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