The tumor suppressor gene p53 is commonly mutated with high frequencies at certain hot spots in human cancers. In liver cancers there is an especially high frequency of mutations at codon 249. To study the impact of carcinogen targeting and the role of cytosine methylation on the mutation spectrum, a common liver cancer carcinogen aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), was studied using the p53 cDNA template to examine mutation induction. Subsequent mutations were detected with a yeast p53 functional assay and identified by DNA sequencing. The results indicated that cytosine methylation enhances AFB1-induced guanine mutations at CpG sites. However, no mutations were detected at codon 249.