Evidence that Gsta4 modifies susceptibility to skin tumor development in mice and humans.
BACKGROUND: The incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is equivalent to that of all other cancers combined. Previously, we mapped the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) skin tumor promotion susceptibility locus, Psl1, to distal chromosome 9 in crosses of sensitive DBA/2 mice with relatively resistant C57BL/6 mice. Here, we used the mouse two-stage skin carcinogenesis model to identify the gene(s) responsible for the effects of Psl1. METHODS: Interval-specific congenic mouse strains (n ≥ 59 mice per strain) were used to more precisely map the Psl1 locus. Having identified glutathione S-transferase α4 (Gsta4) as a candidate tumor promotion susceptibility gene that mapped within the delimited region, we analyzed Gsta4-deficient mice (n = 62) for susceptibility to skin tumor promotion by TPA. We used quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry to verify induction of Gsta4 in mouse epidermis following TPA treatment and biochemical assays to associate Gsta4 activity with tumor promotion susceptibility. In addition, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in GSTA4 were analyzed in a case-control study of 414 NMSC patients and 450 control subjects to examine their association with human NMSC. Statistical analyses of tumor studies in mice were one-sided, whereas all other statistical analyses were two-sided. RESULTS: Analyses of congenic mice indicated that at least two loci, Psl1.1 and Psl1.2, map to distal chromosome 9 and confer susceptibility to skin tumor promotion by TPA. Gsta4 maps to Psl1.2 and was highly induced (mRNA and protein) in the epidermis of resistant C57BL/6 mice compared with that of sensitive DBA/2 mice following treatment with TPA. Gsta4 activity levels were also higher in the epidermis of C57BL/6 mice following treatment with TPA. Gsta4-deficient mice (C57BL/6.Gsta4(-/-) mice) were more sensitive to TPA skin tumor promotion (0.8 tumors per mouse vs 0.4 tumors per mouse in wild-type controls; difference = 0.4 tumors per mouse; 95% confidence interval = 0.1 to 0.7, P = .007). Furthermore, inheritance of polymorphisms in GSTA4 was associated with risk of human NMSC. Three SNPs were found to be independent predictors of NMSC risk. Two of these were associated with increased risk of NMSC (odds ratios [ORs] = 1.60 to 3.42), while the third was associated with decreased risk of NMSC (OR = 0.63). In addition, a fourth SNP was associated with decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma only (OR = 0.44). CONCLUSIONS: Gsta4/GSTA4 is a novel susceptibility gene for NMSC that affects risk in both mice and humans.
Abel, EL; Angel, JM; Riggs, PK; Langfield, L; Lo, H-H; Person, MD; Awasthi, YC; Wang, L-E; Strom, SS; Wei, Q; DiGiovanni, J
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