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Lab Invest. 2002 Feb;82(2):123-32.

p16(INK4a) is selectively silenced in the tumoral progression of mycosis fungoides.

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Department of Genetics, Virgen de la Salud Hospital, Toledo, Spain.


Knowledge about the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of tumoral progression in mycosis fungoides (MF) is still scarce. Because the 9p21 locus seems to be a good target for a detailed study in MF, this prompted us to compare the mechanisms of inactivation of the p16(INK4a), p15(INK4b), and p14(ARF) genes in aggressive and stable forms of MF, performing microsatellite analysis, methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, direct sequencing, and p16(INK4a) protein expression by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, the p53 gene was also sequenced in tumoral lesions. Thirty-nine patients with stable MF were studied. Alterations in p16(INK4a) and p15(INK4b) genes were detected in 18% and 5% of the cases, respectively. None of the cases analyzed showed alterations of the p14(ARF) gene. In contrast with these findings, in the 11 patients with aggressive MF, alterations of the p16(INK4a), p15(INK4b), or p14(ARF) genes were found in 8 (73%), 3 (27%), and 2 (18%) cases, respectively. A significant proportion (4/11) of these alterations were already present in the p16(INK4a) gene in the initial plaque lesions in these aggressive forms of MF. Alterations in the p16(INK4a) gene, either methylation or loss of heterozygosity, were clearly more frequent than those in the p15(INK4b) and p14(ARF) genes. These p16(INK4A) alterations were confirmed using immunohistochemistry. None of the nine tumoral lesions analyzed showed mutations in exons 1-2 of the p16(INK4a) gene or in exons 5-8 of the p53 gene. These results seem to suggest that 9p21 alterations, and selectively p16(INK4a) silencing, could be a characteristic phenomenon in MF progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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