The p53 gene is involved in the control of cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. The germline Arg72Pro polymorphism alters the protein's biochemical functions, and may confer individual susceptibility to skin cancer. We evaluated the association of the Arg72Pro polymorphism with skin cancer risk among Caucasians in a nested case-control study within the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) (219 melanoma, 286 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 300 basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 874 controls). Compared to the Arg/Arg genotype, the Pro/Pro genotype had an OR of 1.57 (95 % CI, 0.81-3.06) for melanoma risk, and an OR of 1.79 (95 % CI, 1.01-3.17) for BCC risk. The positive association of the Pro allele with BCC risk was only limited to women with two or fewer lifetime sunburns (P, trend, 0.002; P, interaction, 0.02). No association was observed between the polymorphism and SCC risk. We also observed that the Pro allele was inversely associated with the risk of childhood sunburn among Caucasian participants pooled from four nested case-control studies within the NHS. This study suggests that the Arg72Pro polymorphism may play a role in skin carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-700
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma


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