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Cancer Res. 1995 Mar 1;55(5):999-1001.

Human gliomas with wild-type p53 express bcl-2.

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  • 1Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129.


Human astrocytomas frequently overexpress wild-type p53, which suggests that gliomas have evolved a mechanism to subvert p53-mediated apoptosis. bcl-2 inhibits apoptosis mediated by p53, and it is expressed in several human cancers. We therefore examined a series of human gliomas to determine whether bcl-2 is expressed and whether this expression is associated with tumors which have wild-type p53. Twenty-eight paraffin-embedded gliomas (3 WHO grade II, 13 grade III, 12 grade IV) were immunohistochemically stained for bcl-2 and p53. p53 mutations were identified with single strand conformation polymorphism and DNA sequencing. Sixteen of 28 (57%) tumors expressed bcl-2, and bcl-2 expression was associated with wild-type p53 (P < 0.01). Among gliomas which overexpressed p53, bcl-2 was positive in 7 of 7 tumors with wild-type p53 but in only 1 of 7 with mutant p53 (P < 0.01). We conclude that bcl-2 is frequently expressed in human gliomas and that expression is more common in tumors with wild-type p53.

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