The tumor suppressor TP53 pathway plays a crucial role in preventing carcinogenesis through its ability to impose cell cycle arrest and apoptosis following DNA damage and oncogene activation. MDM2 is a key negative regulator of the TP53 pathway and is overexpressed in many cancers as oncoprotein. We investigated the association between genetic variation in the promoter region of MDM2 (c.-5+309G>T, rs2279744:g.G>T) and the coding region of TP53 (c.215G>C, rs1042522:g.G>C, designated Arg72Pro) and the risk of developing lung cancer. The genotypes of 1,106 patients and 1,420 controls were determined by tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS)-PCR or PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Associations with risk of lung cancer were estimated by logistic regression. We observed an increased lung cancer risk associated with the MDM2 GG (odds ratio [OR] = 1.83, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.45-2.32) and TG (OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.09-1.63) genotypes. An increased risk was also associated with the TP53 Pro/Pro genotype (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.17-1.85, P = 0.003) compared to the Arg/Arg genotype. The gene-gene interaction of MDM2 and TP53 polymorphisms increased lung cancer risk in a supermultiplicative manner (OR for the presence of both MDM2 GG and TP53 Pro/Pro genotypes = 4.56, 95% CI = 2.76-7.54). Significant interactions were observed between these polymorphisms (respectively and jointly) and smoking (OR = 10.41, 95% CI = 5.26-20.58) for smokers with both the MDM2 GG and TP53 Pro/Pro genotypes. In conclusion, genetic polymorphisms in cell cycle regulatory genes MDM2 and TP53 contribute to the risk of developing lung cancer.