Polymorphic hCHK2/hCds1 codon 84 allele and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck--a case-control analysis.


Checkpoint kinase 2 (hCHK2/hCds1) is a tumor suppressor gene involved in cell-cycle control. A hCHK2/hCds1 polymorphism in codon 84 (A-->G at nucleotide 252) was recently identified in Li-Fraumeni syndrome patients. Because cell cycle regulates DNA repair that is associated with cancer risk, we hypothesized that this new polymorphism exists in the general population and is associated with cancer risk. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the role of this polymorphism in a case-control study of 215 non-Hispanic white patients with newly diagnosed squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and 229 frequency-matched cancer-free controls. We found that the hCHK2/hCds1 codon 84 variant was rare and less frequent in non-Hispanic white cases (0.0186) than in controls (0.0437; P = 0.033). Although no variant homozygotes were detected in these cases and controls, heterozygosity protected against SCCHN, representing a 60% reduction of risk (adjusted odds ratio = 0.40; 95% confidence intervals, 0.17-0.93) compared with wild-type homozygotes. The variant allele was also rare in other ethnic groups (0.0487, 0.0095 and 0.0541 in 115 African Americans, 105 Hispanic Americans and 111 native Chinese, respectively), and only one variant homozygous individual (a Chinese subject) was identified. These results suggest that this hCHK2/hCds1 codon 84 polymorphism is rare and may have a protective role in the aetiology of SCCHN in non-Hispanic whites. Larger studies are warranted to confirm this finding and further mechanistic studies are needed to understand biological relevance of this polymorphism.

  • Eicher SA
  • Li L
  • Shen H
  • Spitz MR
  • Strom SS
  • Sturgis EM
  • Wei Q
  • Zheng Y
PubMed ID
Appears In
Carcinogenesis, 2001, 22 (12)