The GSTM1 null genotype confers an increased risk for solar keratosis development in an Australian Caucasian population

Melanie A. Carless, Rod A. Lea, Joanne E. Curran, Bridget Appleyard, Phil Gaffney, Adele Green, Lyn R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Solar keratoses affect approximately 50% of Australian Caucasians aged over 40 y. Solar keratoses can undergo malignant transformation into squamous cell carcinoma followed by possible metastasis and are risk factors for basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. The glutathione-S-transferase genes play a part in detoxification of carcinogens and mutagens, including some produced by ultraviolet radiation. This study examined the role of glutathione-S-transferase M1, T1, P1, and Z1 gene polymorphisms in susceptibility to solar keratoses development. Using DNA samples from volunteers involved in the Nambour Skin Cancer Prevention Trial, allele and genotype frequencies were determined using polymerase chain reaction and restriction enzyme digestion. No significant differences were detected in glutathione-S-transferase P1 and glutathione-S-transferase Z1 allele or genotype frequencies; however, a significant association between glutathione-S-transferase M1 genotypes and solar keratoses development was detected (p = 0.003) with null individuals having an approximate 2-fold increase in risk for solar keratoses development (odds ratio: 2.1; confidence interval: 1.3-3.5) and a significantly higher increase in risk in conjunction with high outdoor exposure (odds ratio: 3.4; confidence interval: 1.9-6.3). Also, a difference in glutathione-S-transferase T1 genotype frequencies was detected (p = 0.039), although considering that multiple testing was undertaken, this was found not to be significant. Fair skin and inability to tan were found to be highly significant risk factors for solar keratoses development with odds ratios of 18.5 (confidence interval: 5.7-59.9) and 7.4 (confidence interval: 2.6-21.0), respectively. Overall, glutathione-S-transferase M1 conferred a significant increase in risk of solar keratoses development, particularly in the presence of high outdoor exposure and synergistically with known phenotypic risk factors of fair skin and inability to tan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1378
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Detoxification
  • Skin cancer
  • Ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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