4-Nitroquinoline-1-oxide-induced mutagen sensitivity and risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer: A case-control analysis

Li E. Wang, T. C. Hsu, Ping Xiong, Sara S. Strom, Madeleine Duvic, Gary L. Clayman, Randal S. Weber, Scott M. Lippman, Leonard H. Goldberg, Qingyi Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The UV radiation-mimetic chemical 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO) is thought to induce squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) similar to those induced by UV radiation in animals. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that cellular sensitivity to 4-NQO is associated with risk of developing skin cancer in a case-control study of 191 patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC; 81 SCC and 110 basal cell carcinoma (BCC)) and 176 cancer-free controls. Short-term blood cultures were treated with 4-NQO at a final concentration of 10 μM for 24 hours and scored for chromatid breaks in 50 well-spread metaphases. We found that the mean frequency of chromatid breaks per cell (b/c) was significantly higher in the cases (mean±SD, 0.46±0.43 for SCC and 0.43±0.38 for BCC) than in the controls (0.25±0.25; P<0.001 for both comparisons) and were associated with more-than-twofold increased risk for both SCC and BCC after adjustment for known risk factors. Therefore, our findings support the notion that sensitivity to 4-NQO reflects susceptibility to UV-induced NMSC. However, there is a lack of correlation between UVB-induced b/c and 4-NQO-induced b/c in this study population. Therefore, these findings need to be verified by additional studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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