Experimental Oncology

British Journal of Cancer (1995) 71, 826–830. doi:10.1038/bjc.1995.159 www.bjcancer.com
Published April 1995

p53 mutations, protein expression and cell proliferation in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck

K Nylander1, P Nilsson, C Mehle and G Roos

1Department of Oral Pathology, Umeå University, Sweden



Thirty-three patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region were studied concerning p53 protein expression and mutations in exons 4-9 of the p53 gene using immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-single strand conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. Immunoreactivity was found in 64% and p53 gene mutations in 39% of the tumours. Thirty-three per cent of the immunopositive and 50% of the immunonegative tumours were mutated within exons 5-8. In one immunopositive tumour three variants of deletions were observed. Sequencing of the p53 mutated, immunonegative tumours revealed four cases with deletions, one case with a transversion resulting in a stop codon and one case with a splice site mutation which could result in omission of the following exon at splicing. All mutations in the immunonegative tumours resulted in a truncated p53 protein. No association between p53 gene status and expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) or cell proliferation as judged by in vivo incorporation of the thymidine analogue iododeoxyuridine (IdUrd) was found.