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J Cutan Pathol. 2003 Sep;30(8):479-85.

Retinoblastoma gene expression in human non-melanoma skin cancer.

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University of Wales Institute, School of Applied Sciences, Llandaf Campus, Cardiff, UK.



The aberrant expression of both the retinoblastoma and p53 tumor suppressor genes has been associated with more aggressive tumors, metastasis and lower survival.


We have evaluated immunohistochemically the expression of pRB in a panel of non-melanoma skin cancers containing p53 somatic mutations.


Nuclear anti-p53 staining was detected in 18 (72%) differentiated squamous cell carcinomas, six (100%) undifferentiated squamous cell carcinomas and seven (28%) basal cell carcinomas. A correlation was observed between p53 expression and the proliferative activity of differentiated squamous cell carcinomas (P < 0.066), undifferentiated squamous cell carcinomas (P < 0.05) and basal cell carcinomas (P < 0.01). Tumors were selected for mutant p53 expression by PCR-directed DNA sequencing and pRB expression measured immunohistochemically. Anti-pRB reactivity was detected in the nuclei of basal and suprabasal layer cells of normal epidermis, and in the proliferative compartment of all the differentiated squamous cell carcinomas, and basal cell carcinomas. A correlation was observed between pRB expression and the proliferative activity of the differentiated squamous cell carcinomas (P < 0.01) and basal cell carcinomas (P < 0.025). However, anti-pRB reactivity was not detected in the six anti-p53 reactive undifferentiated squamous cell carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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