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Int J Exp Pathol. 2002 Dec;83(6):275-86.

Changes in retinoblastoma gene expression during cervical cancer progression.

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Oncology Research Unit, Oncology Hospital, National Medical Center SXXI-IMSS, Mexico.


The role of tumour suppressor genes in the development of human cancers has been studied extensively. In viral carcinogenesis, the inactivation of suppressor proteins such as retinoblastoma (pRb) and p53, and cellular oncogenes overexpression, such as c-myc, has been the subject of a number of investigations. In uterine-cervix carcinomas, where high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) plays an important role, pRb and p53 are inactivated by E7 and E6 viral oncoproteins, respectively. However, little is known about the in situ expression of some of these proteins in pre-malignant and malignant cervical tissues. On the other hand, it has also been demonstrated that c-myc is involved in cervical carcinogenesis, and that pRb participates in the control of c-myc gene expression. By using immunostaining techniques, we investigated pRb immunodetection pattern in normal tissues, squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) and invasive carcinomas from the uterine cervix. Our data show low pRb detection in both normal cervical tissue and invasive lesions, but a higher expression in SILs. C-Myc protein was observed in most of the cellular nuclei of the invasive lesions, while in SILs was low. These findings indicate a heterogeneous pRb immunostaining during the different stages of cervical carcinogenesis, and suggest that this staining pattern could be a common feature implicated in the pathogenesis of uterine-cervix carcinoma.

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