Allelic loss at the GPx-1 locus in cancer of the head and neck

Ya Jun Hu, M. Eileen Dolan, Richard Bae, Herman Yee, Martin Roy, Robert Glickman, Lidia Kiremidjian-Schumacher, Alan M. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium-containing, antioxidant enzyme previously implicated in the risk and development of lung and breast cancer, in part the result of allelic loss at the GPx-1 locus. This study examined allelic loss at the same locus in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. The frequency of a polymorphism at codon 198 resulting in either a leucine or a proline at that position was surveyed by comparing 133 DNA samples obtained from head and neck tumors and 517 samples obtained from cancer-free individuals. Tumor DNAs exhibited fewer pro/leu heterozygotes as compared to DNA obtained from the cancer-free population. Fewer GPx-1 heterozygotes were verified by determining the frequency of highly polymorphic alanine repeat sequences in the same gene. The analysis revealed an approximately 42% reduction in heterozygosity in the DNA from the tumor samples. In order to assess loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the GPx-1 locus, DNA was genotyped from peripheral lymphocytes, tumor tissue, and microscopically normal tissues adjacent to the tumor, derived from the same patients. These studies indicated LOH at the GPx-1 locus in each of the three tumor/normal tissues sample sets examined. Furthermore, LOH in the microscopically normal tissues at the tumor margin occurred in two of the three sample sets examined. These data implicate GPx-1 in the development of squamous cell carcinoma the head and neck and suggest that allelic loss of this gene, or one tightly linked to it, is an early event in the development of this type of malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Glutathione peroxidase
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Loss of heterozygosity
  • Polymorphism
  • Selenium
  • Selenoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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