In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), hotspot mutation in codon 249 of the p53 gene has been associated with exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). While the polymorphism of DNA repair gene X-ray repair cross-complementary group 1 (XRCC1) Arg399Gln may be related with AFB1-DNA adducts and gene mutations. Five hundred one HCCs were included in this study to investigate the role of the XRCC1 codon 399 polymorphism on hotspot mutation in codon 249 of the p53 gene. The genotypes of XRCC1 codon 399 and p53 codon 249 were examined by PCR-RFLP. The HCC patients with XRCC1 genotypes with 399 Gln (namely: XRCC1-AG/GG) exhibited a significantly higher frequency of the p53 hotspot mutations in codon 249 than those with the wild-type homozygote of XRCC1 [namely: XRCC1-AA, adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 6.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.34–10.57]. Compared with those individuals who did express XRCC1-AA as reference (OR = 1), moreover, individuals featuring XRCC1-AG/GG and AFB1-DNA adducts did experience a significantly greater frequency of the hotspot mutation in codon 249 of the p53 gene (adjusted OR = 28.37, 95% CI = 13.19–61.02, P < 0.01). This study suggests that the XRCC1 Arg399Gln polymorphism and AFB1-DNA adducts are associated with the increased frequency of the p53 mutations in codon 249. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.