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Relationship between p53 overexpression and the proliferative activity in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Relationship between p53 protein overexpression and clinicopathological findings and the proliferative activity was studied in 50 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (34 biopsy and 16 surgically resected cases) using immunohistochemistry. Overexpression of p53 was observed in 26.5% of biopsy cases and 31. 3% of surgically resected cases. Investigation of the relationship between the p53-positive rate and the clinical stage of HCC showed that it was significantly higher in Stage IV (the most advanced cancer; 54.5%) than in Stage I/II/III (13.0%) (p<0.05). Examination of the relationship between the p53-positive rate and tumor differentiation in the biopsy cases showed that p53 was positive in 9.1% of well differentiated carcinomas, 21.4% of moderately differentiated carcinomas, and 55.6% of poorly differentiated carcinomas, indicating that p53 positivity increased as tumors became less differentiated. The p53-positive rate of poorly differentiated carcinoma (55.6%) was significantly higher than that of well and moderately differentiated carcinoma (16.0%) (p<0.05). In the surgically resected cases, p53 overexpression tended to be more frequent in the less differentiated parts of each tumor nodule. In cases with nodule in nodule pattern of HCC, the p53-positive rate was different among nodules with the same level of differentiation. Examination of tumor cell proliferative activity using the proliferating cell nuclear antigen L.I. showed that this indicator was significantly higher in the p53-positive tumors than in the p53-negative tumors (52.7+/-32.4% vs. 32.4+/-15.3%: p<0.05). These results suggest that p53 overexpression may be involved in determining the dedifferentiation and the proliferative activity of HCC. Examination of the surgically resected cases confirmed that p53 overexpression became heterogeneous during the multistep carcinogenesis and growth process of HCC, which is considered to develop from a single cell. This finding suggests that p53 overexpression may be involved in tumor progression.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Third Department of Internal Medicine, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi, Osaka 570, Japan.

Publication date: August 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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