Mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene in human cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas

Mol Carcinog. 1991;4(6):445-9. doi: 10.1002/mc.2940040606.


In this study, we analyzed 10 human squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) for alterations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene in exons 4 through 9 by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. We found that 2 of 10 SCCs displayed unusual SSCP alleles at exon 7 of the p53 gene. Subsequent cloning and sequencing of PCR-amplified exon 7 DNA from these two tumors revealed that one had a G----A transition at the first position of codon 244, predicting a glycine-to-serine amino acid change, while the other tumor exhibited a G----T base change at the second nucleotide of codon 248, predicting an arginine-to-leucine substitution. Because the mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene in both tumors were located opposite potential pyrimidine dimer sites (C-C), it is consistent with these mutations having been induced by the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. These studies demonstrate that inactivation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, as well as activation of ras oncogenes, may be involved in the pathogenesis of some human skin cancers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics*


  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53