p53 gene aberrations in non-small-cell lung carcinomas from a smoking population

T Liloglou, H Ross, W Prime, R J Donnelly, D A Spandidos, J R Gosney, J K Field

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We examined 46 non-small-cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) for the presence of p53 mutations in exons 4-9, positive p53 immunostaining and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in the TP53 locus. p53 mutations were detected in 13 tumour samples (28.3%), whereas overexpression of the p53 protein was found in 30 of 45 (67%) samples. Allelic loss was found in 9 of 38 (23.6%) informative cases. The statistical analysis revealed no significant correlation between p53 mutations and clinicopathological data, although mutations appear to occur more frequently in squamous cell carcinomas (7 of 18) than in adenocarcinomas (2 of 15). All but three individuals in this study group smoked. In contrast to previous reports, we found a higher prevalence of GC-->AT transitions than of GC-->TA transversions, as expected in a smoking population. A trend was found between p53-positive immunostaining and a history of heavy smoking (76-126 pack-years) and was inversely correlated with allelic deletion (LOH) at the TP53 locus. Eight of the 12 NSCLCs containing p53 mutations also had concomitant p53 overexpression, and it is of specific note that three of the four tumours containing p53 'mutations' with no overexpression of the p53 protein had either insertions or deletions in the p53 gene. No correlation was found between p53 mutations and fractional allele loss or ras mutations. p53 mutations in this Merseyside population in the UK do not appear to be as common as in other reports for NSCLC and exhibit predominance of GC-->AT transitions preferentially at non-CpG sites, suggesting that other carcinogens in addition to those in tobacco smoke may be involved in NSCLC in the Merseyside area of the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-24
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1997


  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung/epidemiology
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • DNA, Neoplasm/isolation & purification
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, p53/genetics
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lung Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Smoking/epidemiology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/biosynthesis
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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