p53 gene mutations in pediatric brain tumors

Med Pediatr Oncol. 1995 Dec;25(6):431-6. doi: 10.1002/mpo.2950250603.


We investigated the frequency of p53 mutations in 47 pediatric brain tumors of various histologic subtypes that were collected over a period of 5 years. The specimens included 15 primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs), 17 low grade astrocytomas, one anaplastic astrocytoma, three glioblastomas (GBMs), one mixed glial tumor, eight ependymomas, one choroid plexus carcinoma, and one gangliocytoma/ganglioneuroma. Mutations were identified by single strand conformation polymorphism analysis of exons 4-8 and verified by sequencing. Mutations were present in 2 of 3 cases of GBM, but not in 17 low grade astrocytomas (P = 0.02, Fisher's exact test). One GBM demonstrated a germline GGC to AGC transition (gly to ser) at codon 245 with loss of the wild-type allele. A second GBM contained a CGG to TGG transition (arg to trp) at codon 248, also with loss of the wild-type allele, but normal tissue was not available for comparison. In addition, one of 15 PNETs retained heterozygosity but demonstrated a somatic CGT to TGT transition (arg to cys) at codon 273. p53 mutations were absent in other histologic subtypes and in two cases with multiple primary cancers. These data are consistent with earlier findings that p53 mutations are rare in PNETs, which are primarily pediatric tumors. In contrast to adult gliomas, p53 mutations in pediatric gliomas appear restricted to the GBMs. The lack of p53 mutations in pediatric low grade astrocytomas suggests not only histological differences, but also a different molecular pathogenesis in adult and pediatric patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA