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Carcinogenesis. 1999 Jun;20(6):963-8.

The p53 tumor suppressor gene of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica: cloning of exons 4-11 and mutations in exons 5-8 in ultraviolet radiation-induced corneal sarcomas.

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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Room 149, Basic Medical Sciences Building, Health Sciences Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.


Inactivating p53 mutations are found in many ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced skin tumors. We examined 12 UVR-induced corneal tumors of the marsupial Monodelphis domestica for mutations in exons 5-8 of p53 and compared their mutational spectrum with that of UVR-induced skin tumors of other species. First we cloned and characterized a cDNA extending from the middle of exon 4 through exon 11 of the Monodelphis p53 gene. Based on the sequence information obtained, primers were designed to amplify introns 4-9 of the gene; intron primers to amplify individually exons 5-8 were subsequently developed. 'Cold' single strand conformational polymorphism analysis followed by reamplification of DNA with altered mobility and cycle sequencing revealed single p53 mutations in four of 12 tumors (33%), including one mutation in exon 5, two identical mutations in exon 7 and one mutation in exon 8. All mutations were at dipyrimidine sites and occurred on the non-transcribed strand. Three of the four were hallmark UVR-induced C-->T alterations. Three of the mutations were found at sites corresponding to human codons 248 and 273, which are mutational hotspots in human and murine UVR-induced squamous cell carcinomas. Our findings suggest that UVR-induced corneal sarcomas in Monodelphis will be valuable in studying mechanisms of p53 mutation in UVR-induced tumors.

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