A polymorphism at codon 72 of the p53 gene, resulting in either an arginine or a proline residue in the protein, has been reported to affect the susceptibility of p53 to human papillomavirus (HPV) E6-mediated degradation in cultured cells. However, the relevance of this polymorphism to naturally occurring HPV infection is unclear. Therefore, we analysed its relationship to infecting HPV type and lesion grade in a series of low- and high-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions (SILs) and invasive carcinoma of the cervix. DNA extracted from morphologically characterised, paraffin-embedded tissues (30 normal cervices, 118 low-grade SILs, 118 high-grade SILs and 43 invasive carcinomas) was examined for the presence and type of HPV DNA, and the p53 genotype was identified by both allele-specific PCR and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. There was no significant relationship between the frequency of p53 genotypes and either HPV type or lesion grade. Our data do not support the hypothesis that this p53 polymorphism is involved in the development of high-grade squamous cervical disease in this population.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.