Depicting the role of TP53 in hepatocellular carcinoma progression

J Hepatol. 2011 Sep;55(3):724-725. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.03.018. Epub 2011 May 14.


Background & aims: Mutations in TP53, a tumor suppressor gene, are associated with prognosis of many cancers. However, the prognostic values of TP53 mutation sites are not known for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) because of heterogeneity in their geographic and etiologic backgrounds.

Methods: TP53 mutations were investigated in a total of 409 HCC patients, including Chinese (n=336) and white (n=73) patients, using the direct sequencing method.

Results: A total of 125 TP53 mutations were found in Chinese patients with HCC (37.2%). HCC patients with TP53 mutations had a shorter overall survival time compared with patients with wild-type TP53 (hazard ratio [HR], 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.37-2.52; P<.001). The hot spot mutations R249S and V157F were significantly associated with worse prognosis in univariate (HR, 2.11; 95% CI: 1.51-2.94; P<.001) and multivariate analyses (HR, 1.79; 95% CI: 1.29-2.51; P<.001). Gene expression analysis revealed the existence of stem cell-like traits in tumors with TP53 mutations. These findings were validated in breast and lung tumor samples with TP53 mutations.

Conclusions: TP53 mutations, particularly the hot spot mutations R249S and V157F, are associated with poor prognosis for patients with HCC. The acquisition of stem cell-like gene expression traits might contribute to the aggressive behavior of tumors with TP53 mutation.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Disease Progression
  • Genes, p53*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Mutation Rate
  • Prognosis