An unexpected wide population variation of the G1733A polymorphism of the androgen receptor gene: Data on the Mediterranean region

E. Esteban *, M. Via 1, E. González-Pérez 1, J. Santamaría 1, J.M. Dugoujon 2, G. Vona 3, N. Harich 4, F. Luna 5, A.A. Saetta 6, N. Bissar 7, P. Moral 1
1Department of Animal Biology-Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2Center of Anthropology, UMR 8555, CNRS, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
3Department of Experimental Biology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
4Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University Chouaïb-Doukkali, El Jadida, Morocco
5Department of Biology-Anthropology, Faculty of Biology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
6Department of Pathology, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
7Department of Biology, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey

email: E. Esteban (

*Correspondence to E. Esteban, Unitat d'Antropologia, Facultat de Biologia, Avda. Diagonal, 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

The androgen receptor (AR) has been proposed as a candidate gene for several cancers (breast, prostate, uterine endometrium, colon, and esophagus). Ethnicity is considered an associated risk factor for some of these cancers. Several case-control genetic studies have been focused in samples of the main ethnic groups, but little is known about the distribution of risk polymorphisms in current populations with accurate ethnic and/or geographic origins. The A allele of the G1733A polymorphism of the AR gene has been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. We provide data from this marker in 12 samples from 7 Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy (Sardinia), Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt. A sample from Ivory Coast has also been analyzed. The A allele distribution shows a frequency in the Ivory Coast population (65.17%) that contrasts with the low values found in Northern Mediterraneans (mean average value of 13.98%). North African populations present two-times higher frequencies (average value of 27.19%) than Europeans. The wide population variation range found for the A allele strengthens the potential interest of further screening as a baseline to the design of future preventive and population health programs. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 17:690-695, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.