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Lab Invest. 1995 Dec;73(6):837-43.

Comparison of P53 protein overexpression with P53 mutation in bladder cancer: clinical and biologic aspects.

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Department of Urology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Alterations of the tumor suppressor gene p53 are known to occur in bladder cancer. Although p53 overexpression is associated with mutation of the p53 gene, a substantial discrepancy between molecular genetic alteration in p53 and overexpression of the protein has been found.


Tumor specimens of 39 bladder cancer patients were immunohistochemically analyzed for p53 overexpression, and the results were compared with the presence of a mutation as assessed by single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and direct sequencing. Both clinical and biologic aspects were studied.


A significant correlation between p53 overexpression and poor survival in the whole group studied was found (p < 0.01). No association between p53 overexpression and decreased survival was found for invasive tumors in contrast with other studies. Differences in treatment of the patients and different Ab and scoring systems used might explain these differences. In our study, the Kaplar-Meier curves showed the same result for p53 overexpression and p53 mutation when the whole group and the invasive tumors were studied. However, in the group of superficial tumors, which was unfortunately too small for statistical analysis, we found p53 overexpression in three tumors, and no p53 mutations were found. A good concordance between p53 mutation and p53 overexpression was found (p < 0.02). However, two out of eight tumors with an SSCP-proven p53 mutation showed no p53 immunoreactivity, probably as a result of loss of the nuclear localization signal. Twenty three percent (7/31) of the tumors showed p53 overexpression without any sign of a mutation.


Our results indicate that, despite good concordance between p53 mutation and p53 overexpression, there is no direct casual relationship between mutation and protein accumulation. Apparently, other events than mutation can trigger p53 stability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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