Recent aflatoxin exposure and mutation at codon 249 of the human p53 gene: lack of association

Food Addit Contam. May-Jun 1995;12(3):421-4. doi: 10.1080/02652039509374324.


Experiments were done to show whether a G to T mis-sense mutation at the third base of codon 249 of the p53 tumour suppressor gene is a 'hot spot' of aflatoxin attack as suggested by the results of epidemiological studies. Liver tissue from liver cancer patients in Taiwan and Japan was analysed for the presence of aflatoxin-DNA adducts (ADA) as a marker for aflatoxin exposure and an AGG to AGT transversion at codon 249 of the p53 gene. Ten per cent of samples containing ADA, indicating definite exposure of the subjects to aflatoxin, was found to harbour the codon 249 mutation, whereas 18% of the samples with no detectable adducts also contained the mutation. Our data do not support the hypothesis that codon 249 of the p53 gene DNA is a hot spot for aflatoxin mutagenesis as a 'late stage event' in human hepatocellular carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxins / adverse effects*
  • Aflatoxins / analysis
  • DNA Adducts / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Genes, p53 / drug effects*
  • Genes, p53 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Point Mutation / genetics*


  • Aflatoxins
  • DNA Adducts
  • DNA, Neoplasm