The six-nucleotide deletion/insertion variant in the CASP8 promoter region is inversely associated with risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Caspase 8 (CASP8) is an apoptosis-related cysteine peptidase involved in the death receptor pathway and likely in the mitochondrial pathway. A CASP8 promoter region six-nucleotide deletion/insertion (-652 6N ins/del) variant and a coding region D302H polymorphism are reportedly important in cancer development, but no reported study has assessed the associations of these genetic variations with risk of head and neck cancer. In a hospital-based study of non-Hispanic whites, we genotyped CASP8 -652 6N del and 302H variants in 1,023 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and 1,052 cancer-free controls. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression models. The CASP8 -652 6N del variant genotypes or haplotypes were inversely associated with SCCHN risk (adjusted OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.57-0.85 for the ins/del + del/del genotypes compared with the ins/ins genotype; adjusted OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.97 for the del-D haplotype compared with the ins-D haplotype). Furthermore, the number of the CASP8 -652 6N del (but not 302H) variant allele tended to correlate with increased levels of camptothecin-induced p53-mediated apoptosis in T lymphocytes from 170 cancer-free controls. We concluded that the CASP8 -652 6N del variant allele may contribute to the risk of developing SCCHN in non-Hispanic white populations. Further validation by population-based case-control studies and rigorous mechanistic studies is warranted.
Li, C; Lu, J; Liu, Z; Wang, L-E; Zhao, H; El-Naggar, AK; Sturgis, EM; Wei, Q
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