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Am J Pathol. 1993 Jul;143(1):199-210.

Immunohistochemical study of p53 in human lung carcinomas.

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Service de Pathologie Cellulaire, Grenoble, France.


Immunohistochemical analysis of p53 protein was carried out on 95 lung carcinomas from all histological types, including 60 primary tumors, 35 lymph node metastases, and 36 corresponding nude mice xenografts, using four antibodies: PAb240 specific for some mutant conformations; PAb421, PAb1801, and CM1 reactive with most of the forms of p53. Nuclear staining with at least two of those four antibodies revealed the presence of an accumulated protein, considered as indicative of a missense mutation in the p53 gene, in 50% of primary tumors of all histological types, except carcinoids. Some defect of messenger RNA expression was detected by Northern blot analysis in an additional 26% of tumors. p53 immunophenotype of the original tumor was fairly maintained on nude mice. p53 accumulation was not correlated with survival, but with disease extension (P = 0.01). Finally, immunohistochemical analysis allowed the recognition of p53 mutant immunophenotype in 41% of tumors where p53 DNA and messenger RNA were apparently normal, using standard molecular biology. Thus, this method provides a rapid and efficient approach for studying p53 mutations leading to an accumulated protein in lung tumors cells.

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