Alterations of the p53 gene in human primary cervical carcinoma with and without human papillomavirus infection

Cancer Res. 1992 Oct 1;52(19):5323-8.


A previous report using cervical carcinoma cell lines suggests that the inactivation of two tumor suppressor gene products, p53 and pRB, either by complex formation with the E6 and E7 proteins of oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPVs) or by mutation, may be an important step in cervical carcinogenesis (M. Scheffner et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 88: 5523-5527, 1991). The present study was designed to clarify the association between p53 inactivation and infection with oncogenic HPVs in primary carcinomas of human uterine cervix. We examined 36 primary cervical carcinomas for the presence of HPV DNAs by Southern blot analysis with probes specific for HPV-16, -18, -31, -33, -52, -56, and -58. HPV DNA sequences were detected in 19 of 36 tumors: 10 cases with HPV-16; 3 cases with -18; 3 cases with -58; 2 cases with -56; and one case with -52. The presence of HPV-16 and -18 in cervical carcinomas was further reexamined using polymerase chain reaction. HPV DNA sequences were detected in an additional 10 cases: 9 cases with -16 and one case with -18. The inactivation of the p53 gene by allelic loss or by point mutation was also examined. No allelic loss at the polymorphic site in codon 72 of the p53 gene was detected in any of 10 informative cases. Missense point mutations in the highly conserved regions of the p53 gene were demonstrable as single-stranded conformational polymorphisms of polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA fragments and subsequently identified by direct DNA sequencing. Point mutations were detected in only two cases: one with an ATG----CTG transversion in codon 133 of exon 5, resulting in a Met----Leu substitution, and another with a CGG----TGG transition in codon 248 of exon 7, resulting in an Arg----Trp substitution. Both tumors with point mutations in p53 genes were among 10 tumors which contained a small copy number of HPV-16 DNA sequences (1 copy of HPV/10(1) to 10(5) cells) detectable by polymerase chain reaction amplification but not by Southern blot analysis of genomic DNAs derived from the tumors. None of 19 tumors with a large copy number of HPV DNA sequences detectable by Southern blot analysis (more than 1 copy of HPV/2 to 10 cells) nor any of 7 tumors with undetectable HPV DNA sequences contained p53 gene mutations in the regions examined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / microbiology
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / microbiology
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Genome, Viral
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / microbiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Viral