Purpose: The p16 (MTS1) gene codes for a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and may be a new tumor suppressor gene. It is frequently mutated in a variety of cell lines established from tumors. This is the first report of screening for alteration of the p16 gene in testicular, ovarian and endometrial malignancies.
Materials and methods: We examined alterations of p16 in 78 primary genital tumors (42 testicular, 21 ovarian and 15 endometrial cancers) and mononuclear cells from 2 patients with Lynch syndrome II as well as 5 testicular tumor cell lines by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and Southern blot hybridization.
Results: The DNA from the p16 gene of 2 testicular tumors (5%), an ovarian cancer (4%) and a testicular tumor cell line (20%) had altered migration in gel electrophoresis as shown by SSCP. Analysis of DNA sequence of these samples revealed a polymorphism at codon 140. Southern blot hybridization detected neither deletions nor rearrangements of the p16 gene in any of the samples.
Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that p16 alterations probably are not important for tumorigenesis of testicular, ovarian and endometrial tumors.