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Gynecol Oncol. 1994 Dec;55(3 Pt 1):343-8.

p53 expression and genetic evidence for viral infection in intraepithelial neoplasia of the uterine cervix.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Universit√† La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Infections with high-risk strains of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV 2), as well as inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, are important cofactors in cervical carcinogenesis. We analyzed 41 paraffin-embedded cervical intraepithelial lesions, including 25 cases of low-grade cervical intraepithelia neoplasia (CIN), and 16 cases of high-grade CIN for the presence of HPV 16/18 and HSV 2 genomic sequences and for the nuclear accumulation of the p53 protein. HPV 16 DNA was detected in 24.% of low-grade CINs and in 43.7% of high-grade CINs. HPV 18 was found only in 8.% of low-grade CINs. None of the cases tested scored positive for HSV 2 DNA. Nuclear accumulation of p53 was found in 4% of low-grade CINs, and in 31.2% of high-grade CINs, including 57.1% of the lesions that were positive for HPV 16. These results indicate that HPV 16 infection was over sixfold more common than HPV 18 infection and that p53 overexpression was significantly associated with high-grade lesions.

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