Winter temperature and UV are tightly linked to genetic changes in the p53 tumor suppressor pathway in Eastern Asia.
Shi H., Tan S-J., Zhong H., Hu W., Levine A., Xiao C-J., Peng Y., Qi X-B., Shou W-H., Ma R-LZ., Li Y., Su B., Lu X.
The tumor suppressor p53 is a master sensor of stress. Two human-specific polymorphisms, p53 codon 72 and MDM2 SNP309, influence the activities of p53. There is a tight association between cold winter temperature and p53 Arg72 and between low UV intensity and MDM2 SNP309 G/G in a cohort of 4029 individuals across Eastern Asia that suggests causative selection. Moreover, the two polymorphisms are not coselected. Haplotype-based selection analysis further suggests that this is a striking example of two functional polymorphisms being strongly selected for in human populations in response to environmental stresses.