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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1996;37(2):179-88.

Abnormal expression of MDM-2 in breast carcinomas.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


MDM-2 is a cellular oncoprotein that binds to the p53 protein and abrogates its growth-suppressing function. At least seven MDM-2 mRNAs and five proteins (p90, p85, p76, p74, and p57) have been reported in tissue culture. MDM-2 gene amplification occurs in human sarcomas and high-grade gliomas. MDM-2 overexpression without gene amplification has been reported in leukemias and lymphomas. Here we report MDM-2 mRNA overexpression in 24 (73%) out of 33 cases of human breast carcinoma as compared with normal breast tissue. The MDM-2 overexpression was seen in the absence of MDM-2 gene amplification. MDM-2 protein expression was studied by western blot analysis in 21 of these cases of carcinoma. We found complete concordance between MDM-2 mRNA overexpression and MDM-2 protein levels. MDM-2 proteins were overexpressed in 15 of 21 breast carcinoma tissue samples but not in normal breast tissue controls. Ten of these fifteen cases overexpressed MDM-2 p57 protein, two cases overexpressed both p57 and p90, and three cases overexpressed only p90. MDM-2 overexpression was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. p53 overexpression was also studied by immunohistochemistry, 69% of breast carcinomas that overexpressed the MDM-2 mRNA had detectable nuclear p53 protein. These findings demonstrate that MDM-2 oncoprotein expression is altered in primary human breast carcinomas at both mRNA and protein levels. In addition, our results suggest that MDM-2 p57 protein represents the main MDM-2 protein altered in breast carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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