CDKN2A, 9p21, encodes two alternatively spiked, functionally distinct, tumor-suppressor proteins, P16INK4A and P14ARF, which play active roles in the RB1 and TP53 pathways, respectively. Deletion of 9p is one of the most frequent genomic alterations in bladder cancer. In addition, alterations of 9p21 and P16 are frequently seen in the epithelial cells of chronic smokers. This pilot study evaluated whether 9p21 aberrations induced by exposure in vitro to benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE), the metabolic product of benzo[a]pyrene, a constituent of tobacco smoke, were more common in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of 61 bladder cancer patients compared to 64 matched controls. Our hypothesis was that 9p21 sensitivity to BPDE reflects the susceptibility of a specific locus to damage from carcinogens in tobacco smoke. We found that BPDE-induced chromosome band 9p21 aberrations were significantly higher in lymphocytes of bladder cancer cases (24.97 +/- 5.26 per 1,000) than in controls (20.72 +/- 4.51 per 1,000; P < 0.0001). However, no difference was observed for CEP9, a control locus. After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, and smoking status, 9p BPDE sensitivity had an odds ratio (OR) of 9.01 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 3.75, 21.67] for bladder cancer. We further observed a gradient of elevated bladder cancer risk associated with increasing chromosomal damage. The adjusted ORs for subjects in the second, third, and highest quartiles of BPDE-induced 9p21 aberrations relative to the first quartile were 0.48 (0.04, 5.69), 5.14 (1.12, 23.59), and 21.51 (4.75, 97.34), respectively, providing increasing dose-response evidence of the locus-specific alterations. Thus, 9p21 may be a molecular target for BPDE-induced damage in bladder cancer cases.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.