p16(INK4) expression is not associated with human papillomavirus in oral lichen planus

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2014 Dec;118(6):694-702. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2014.09.004. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Objective: Frequencies as high as 60% of overexpressed p16(INK4) were recently reported in lichen planus (LP). Because p16(INK4) overexpression may be a feature of human papilloma virus (HPV)-induced cancer, it has been postulated that LP may be somehow related to HPV. The present study is the first to evaluate both high p16(INK4) expression and HPV in patients with LP.

Study design: Thirty-five consecutive biopsy specimens from patients with LP constituted the basis of the present study. Level of p16(INK4A) expression was evaluated in each sample by immunohistochemical analysis, and the presence of HPV DNA was tested by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: p16(INK4) expression was detected in 26 specimens, whereas HPV was found in 4 lesions: 3 low-risk HPV and 1 high-risk HPV. All HPV-positive lesions also indicated p16(INK4A) overexpression, whereas 22 cases of overexpressed p16(INK4A) were HPV negative (Chi square 2.6; ns).

Conclusions: p16(INK4) overexpression is not correlated with HPV in patients with LP.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / metabolism*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lichen Planus, Oral / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • DNA, Viral