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J Exp Pathol. 1989;4(1):37-46.

ras oncogene p21 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Immunopathology Laboratory, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Bronx, NY.


Aberrant proto-oncogene expression has been implicated in hepatic cell proliferation, transformation and carcinogenesis using a rat model. To investigate the role of ras p21 product expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we have localized ras p21 in formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded normal and abnormal livers utilizing the avidin-biotin peroxidase method and a monoclonal antibody to ras-gene product p21. A semi-quantitative estimate of p21 expression was performed by serial dilutions of primary antibody. While low dilutions of anti-p21 stained normal hepatocytes, higher dilutions failed to react with normal hepatocytes and these dilutions were used for assessment of p21 enhancement. Increased p21 expression of ras oncogene in HCC occurs in fibrolamellar carcinomas and other better differentiated HCC. Tumor dedifferentiation is associated with an attenuation of p21 expression. Liver adjacent to HCC exhibits p21 enhancement, in contrast to liver surrounding metastatic carcinoma, suggesting increased p21 expression in HCC induction.

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