Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Cancer. 2011 Aug 1;129(3):619-28. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25720. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Association of Merkel cell polyomavirus infection with tumor p53, KIT, stem cell factor, PDGFR-alpha and survival in Merkel cell carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Biomedicum, Helsinki, Finland.


Most Merkel cell carcinomas (MCCs) contain Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) DNA, and the virus likely has a pivotal role in tumor pathogenesis. p53 and the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase have also been implicated in MCC pathogenesis, but little is known about their association with MCPyV infection. We identified 207 patients diagnosed with MCC in Finland in 1979-2004 and reviewed the histological diagnoses. Adequate clinical information, tumor tissue and DNA were available from 87 confirmed MCC cases. Presence of MCPyV DNA was assessed using quantitative PCR; p53, KIT, phospho-KIT, stem cell factor (SCF) and PDGFRα expression using immunohistochemistry and presence of mutations in KIT exons 9, 11, 13 and 17 and PDGFRA exons 10, 12, 14 and 18 using DNA sequencing. Most (77.0%) of the 87 tumors contained MCPyV DNA and 37 (42.5%) expressed KIT, whereas PDGFRα, p53, SCF and pKIT expression was less common (31.9, 22.8, 8.6 and 4.8%, respectively). No KIT or PFGFRA mutations were detected, but 10 (12.5%) of the 80 tumors studied harbored common PDGFRA exon 10 S478P substitution. Tumor p53 and KIT expression were associated with absence of MCPyV DNA (p = 0.01 and 0.009, respectively). Tumor p53 expression was associated with unfavorable MCC-specific survival (p = 0.021) and overall survival (p = 0.046), but tumor KIT expression only when stratified by presence of MCPyV DNA. The results suggest that p53 and KIT expression are associated with absence of MCPyV DNA in MCC, and that the molecular pathogenesis of MCC is multifactorial.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center