The p53 Arg72Pro and MDM2 -309 polymorphisms and risk of breast cancer in the nurses' health studies

Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Aug;18(6):621-5. doi: 10.1007/s10552-007-9004-x. Epub 2007 Mar 27.


Candidate gene association studies to detect breast cancer susceptibility loci have yielded few positive associations. Therefore, it is more likely that variants in many genes along related biological pathways combine to influence breast cancer risk. A strong candidate pathway is that of p53-mediated cell-cycle control, DNA repair, and apoptosis. The two major proteins along this pathway are p53 and its negative regulator MDM2. Functional polymorphisms in both genes have been identified. The -309 SNP in MDM2 is associated with increased MDM2 transcription. The Arg72Pro polymorphism of p53 alters the transcription of p53 target genes and modifies the apoptotic potential of cells. Both polymorphisms have been studied with respect to breast cancer risk, with inconclusive results. We have genotyped both polymorphisms in the breast cancer cases and controls nested within the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study II. Neither SNP is independently associated with overall breast cancer risk. Some indication of gene-by-gene interaction was observed; however, no consistent direction of interaction was apparent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, p53*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / physiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / physiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor p53-Binding Protein 1


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • TP53BP1 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor p53-Binding Protein 1
  • MDM2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2