p53 and mdm-2 expression in malignant melanoma: an immunocytochemical study of expression of p53, mdm-2, and markers of cell proliferation in primary versus metastatic tumors.
Alterations in the function of p53, a tumor suppressor gene, have been postulated as a principal underlying mechanism involved in the loss of cell cycle control in human malignancies. Because p53 dysfunction is generally associated with protein overexpression, immunocytochemistry is a valuable technique for the analysis of p53's functional status. We tested the hypothesis that loss of p53 function is a critical event in the early development and progression of human malignant melanoma and can lead to alterations in cell proliferation. We performed an immunocytochemical study in archival fixed, embedded specimens that included 102 melanocytic lesions ranging from benign nevi to metastatic melanoma. In addition to p53, we assessed the p53-associated protein, mdm-2, and markers of cell cycle status (the MIB-1-defined cell proliferation marker; proliferating cell nuclear antigen; and statin, a 57-kDa nuclear protein expressed preferentially by G0 cells). Tumor expression of all nuclear proteins was scored in a semiquantitative fashion related to the fraction of positive tumor nuclei. The overall incidence of significant p53 overexpression was low (8% of primary and 14% of metastatic melanomas). Analysis demonstrated strong correlation between increasing p53 expression in primary versus metastatic lesions (chi 2 analysis, P = 0.001). Correlation was found between increased MIB-1-defined cell proliferation and p53 overexpression in primary melanomas (P = 0.02). Detectable mdm-2 expression was significantly correlated with p53 overexpression (P = 0.02). Comparison of statin and proliferating cell nuclear antigen indices demonstrated inverse correlation (chi 2 , P = 0.03) in the combined groups, but within the metastatic group there was a subset of cases strongly expressing the two markers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Gelsleichter, L; Gown, AM; Zarbo, RJ; Wang, E; Coltrera, MD
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