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Mutations of the p53 gene are the most common genetic abnormality described in human cancer; p53 mutations have recently been reported in more than half of the cases of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. We have previously reported positive p53 immunostaining in Bowen's disease and actinic keratosis. To determine if this abnormal immunostaining reflects p53 mutation or alternative pathways of p53 protein inactivation we have performed direct sequencing of p53 in 20 further cases of Bowen's disease. We found eight mutations in 20 cases, seven of which would produce alterations in the p53 protein product. Our results suggest that p53 mutation is an early event in malignant conversion, frequently preceding invasion in squamous cell neoplasia of the skin. The type and site of the observed mutations reflect known mutational hotspots and support the role of ultraviolet radiation in the pathogenesis of these tumors.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/1523-1747.ep12475717

Type

Journal article

Journal

The Journal of investigative dermatology

Publication Date

06/1993

Volume

100

Pages

746 - 748

Addresses

University Department of Dermatology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Keywords

Humans, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Bowen's Disease, Skin Neoplasms, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Base Sequence, Mutation, Genes, p53, Molecular Sequence Data, Female, Male