Research Papers:

MDM4 genetic variants predict HPV16-positive tumors of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx

Zhongming Lu, Hua Zhang, Ye Tao, Xiangping Li _ and Guojun Li

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:86710-86717. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21414

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Zhongming Lu1,2,3,*, Hua Zhang2,4,*, Ye Tao2,5, Xiangping Li1 and Guojun Li2,6

1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China

2Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

3Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Guangdong General Hospital and Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China

4Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University, Yantai, Shandong 264000, China

5Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui 230601, China

6Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Xiangping Li, email: [email protected]

Guojun Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: MDM4 polymorphism, genetic susceptibility, HPV, SCCOP, biomarkers

Received: March 13, 2017     Accepted: August 30, 2017     Published: September 30, 2017


The increasing incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) is majorly attributed to the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Both HPV and MDM4 play a critical role in inhibition of p53 activity, thus affecting HPV tumor status of SCCOP. Three polymorphisms in MDM4 were genotyped from blood genomic DNA samples and HPV16 status in tumor specimens was examined. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) in univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were calculated for the associations between these polymorphisms and HPV16 status. Three MDM4 variant genotypes were significantly associated with HPV16 tumor status among SCCOP patients compared with the common homozygous genotypes (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4–1.0 for rs10900598; OR, 1.6, 95% CI; 1.1–2.4 for rs1380576; and OR, 1.8, 95% CI, 1.1–2.9 for rs11801299; respectively). When we combined all risk genotypes of the 3 polymorphisms, the patients carrying 1-3 MDM4 risk genotypes were approximately 2.5 time as likely to have an HPV16-positive tumor than those with no risk genotypes (OR, 2.5, 95% CI, 1.6–3.9). Additionally, modifying effect of MDM4 risk genotypes was more pronounced among non-Hispanic white, never-smokers, and never-drinkers. Potential functional polymorphisms in MDM4 may serve as biomarkers for predicting tumor HPV16 status among SCCOP patients, particularly in non-Hispanic white, never-smokers and never-drinkers. However, validation of these results in larger studies is needed.

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