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Int J Cancer. 1994 Jul 1;58(1):24-32.

p53 genetic abnormalities and myc activation in human lung carcinoma.

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Service de Pneumologie, Université Joseph Fourier, Centre Hospitalier Albert Michallon, Grenoble, France.


p53 mutations and myc gene amplification and expression were studied in 119 lung carcinomas of all histological types. A mutant p53 immunophenotype was previously found in 47% of these tumors by immunohistochemical analysis. Seven cases exhibited p53 genomic rearrangements on Southern blots. Elevated levels of p53 transcript were found in 12 carcinomas (10%) and decreased levels in 27 carcinomas (23%) on Northern blots. In most of the cases, low levels of transcript were associated with negative immunostaining, whereas elevated levels of mRNA were related to positive immunostaining (mutant immunophenotype). p53 RT/PCR analysis in 10 tumors with absence of transcript on Northern blots revealed only weak or absent expression of normal and/or altered size transcripts. These abnormal transcripts showed deletions, insertions or splicing abnormalities. Taken together, p53 abnormalities were found in 66% of lung carcinomas [52% of neuroendocrine (NE) carcinomas and 75% of NSCLC]. c-myc was found to be activated in 24% (10/42) of these NE and in 48% (33/69) of these NSCLC carcinomas using Southern- and Northern-blot techniques. In addition, L- and N-myc genes were also activated in 26% (10/42) of NE carcinomas. No correlation was found between p53 mutations and myc activation in SCLC or in NSCLC, but their association was significantly more frequent in NSCLC than in SCLC. These results indicate that the p53-positive immunophenotype uncovers the occurrence of p53 point mutations in lung cancer and that p53 and c-myc gene alterations are important but represent independent occurrences in the development of lung tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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