Human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 and -18 encode E6 oncoprotein, which binds to and induces degradation of the tumor suppressor protein p53. A common polymorphism of p53, encoding either proline or arginine at position 72, affects the susceptibility of p53 to E6-mediated degradation in vivo; Caucasian women homozygous for arginine 72 reportedly are about seven times more susceptible to HPV-associated carcinoma of the cervix than heterozygotes. To examine whether arginine 72 could be a risk factor for HPV-associated cervical carcinomas in the Japanese population, we used the same PCR-based assay to analyze p53 genotypes of HPV-positive invasive cervical carcinomas from 103 Japanese women versus 110 control samples. Inasmuch as we detected no significant difference in the frequencies of proline or arginine alleles between the two groups, p53 polymorphism at residue 72 does not seem to be involved in the development of HPV-associated cervical carcinomas in women of Japanese ethnicity.
This work was supported by a special “Research for the Future” Program Grant 96L00102 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.