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J Oral Pathol Med. 2001 Oct;30(9):527-31.

The correlation between alteration of p16 gene and clinical status in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Pathology Department, Chung Shan Medical and Dental College Hospital, 110, Sec. 1 Chien Kuo N. Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan, ROC.


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the presence of alteration of the tumor suppressor gene p16 and to correlate these changes with the clinical status of the patients in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Forty-eight oral squamous cell carcinomas were included in the analyses. Deletion analysis was performed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Mutation analysis was restricted to exon 1 and exon 2 of the p16 gene, previously shown to have a high incidence of mutations. The sequences containing exon 1 and exon 2 were amplified by PCR and screened with a single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) technique. Samples showing band shifts in SSCP were sequenced by PCR direct sequencing. Western blots were used to detect the protein expression of the p16 gene, and the results were evaluated with regard to their biological relevance in correlation with clinicopathological factors. Seven (14.6%) deletions were found; 5 (10.4%) mutations were discovered and located in different codons; 26 (54%) specimens had no p16 protein expression; in 11 specimens with p16 deletion or mutation, p16 protein could not be detected. One mutation was non-sense. The p16 gene alterations showed no relationship with location and clinical stage of cancer; however, a close relationship between p16 alterations and cancer metastasis to neck lymph node was found. The alteration rate gradually elevated from well to poorly differentiated grades. We perceive two results. First, the alterations of the p16 gene are common in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Second, the alterations of the p16 gene may attribute to the metastatic behavior or histological grade of cancer cells.

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