p53 Mutations and occupational exposures in a surgical series of lung cancers
Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
p53 mutations are frequent in malignant lung tumors. Of 88 surgically treated lung cancers from cigarette smokers previously evaluated for p53 mutations, 45 tumors (51.1%) had mutations in exons 5-8 (D. G. Guinee, Jr. et al., Carcinogenesis (Lond.), 16: 993-1002, 1995). We report here the examination of 13 occupational exposures and 13 high-risk occupations in relation to these p53 mutations. Two molecular abnormalities were associated with occupational exposures: (a) G:C-->T:A transversions on the coding (nontranscribed) strand (n = 13) were associated with chromate exposure and employment in the metal industry (P < 0.05) and marginally associated with nickel exposure (P = 0.056); and (b) G:C-->A:T transitions at non-CpG sites (n = 9) were associated with work in the petrochemical industry (P = 0.05). No association was found between p53 mutations and gender, cigarette pack-years, tumor histology, age at diagnosis, or family history of lung cancer. Because all three chromate-exposed subjects had large cell carcinomas exhibiting G: C-->T:A coding-strand transversions, follow-up of a cohort with this exposure should clarify the association with the p53 gene.