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Arch Dermatol Res. 1998 Apr;290(4):175-80.

Mutations of p16 and p15 tumor suppressor genes and replication errors contribute independently to the pathogenesis of sporadic malignant melanoma.

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Department of Radiation Genetics, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.


Mutations of p16 and p15 suppressor oncogenes and the replication errors in six microsatellite loci in sporadic malignant melanomas were analyzed. Four (9.1%) homozygous deletions of both p16 and p15 genes and one point mutation (2.3%) in the p15 gene were detected among 44 primary melanoma samples. One mutation in each of the p16 and p15 genes was observed in ten metastatic lesions. Eight (18.2%) replication errors were detected in three microsatellite loci in the primary melanoma samples, but no replication error was detected in the metastatic samples. None of the samples showed the alteration of p16/p15 genes and the replication errors concomitantly. These results suggest that (1) the homozygous deletions of p16/p15 genes and the replication errors may occur in rather early stages of melanoma tumorigenesis, while the p16/p15 gene mutation may occur in later stages, and (2) the p16 and p15 gene mutations in sporadic malignant melanomas might not be induced by the defect in mismatch repair, implying that p16 as well as p15 gene alterations may play an important role in the pathogenesis of sporadic malignant melanomas.

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