Absence of p53 gene mutations in primary nasopharyngeal carcinomas

Cancer Res. 1992 Sep 1;52(17):4787-90.


Alterations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene and Epstein-Barr virus status were investigated in 15 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) biopsies, 4 xenografts, and 2 cell lines from the Cantonese region of southern China. One other established NPC cell line obtained from a northern Chinese patient was also studied. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed a loss of heterozygosity for chromosome 17p, where the p53 gene resides, in only one of 15 NPC biopsies. Polymerase chain reaction-single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing failed to detect sequence alterations in exons 5 through 8 of the p53 gene in the 15 tumors and in the 4 NPC xenografts, all of which tested positive for Epstein-Barr virus. In contrast, the 3 NPC cell lines were all negative for Epstein-Barr virus and contained G----C transversions in the p53 gene, with cell lines CNE-1 and CNE-2 harboring identical AGA (arginine) to ACA (threonine) changes at codon 280. These results suggest that p53 inactivation is not a necessary component of nasopharyngeal carcinogenesis in Cantonese but may be important in the establishment of cell lines derived from these tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 17
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Genes, p53*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides