Analysis of p53 and mdm-2 expression in 18 patients with Sézary syndrome

Br J Haematol. 1996 Mar;92(4):890-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1996.439978.x.


Sézary syndrome is a leukaemic form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma which presents with multiple cytogenetic abnormalities and responds poorly to chemotherapy. Because of the importance of the p53 tumour suppressor in maintaining genomic stability and in sensitizing transformed cells to DNA damaging agents, we looked for alternations which may affect p53 functions in 18 patients with Sézary syndrome. Cytogenetic analysis suggested frequent p53 gene inactivation since 6/18 patients had loss of one copy of 17p. However, single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) revealed that p53 gene mutations are relatively rare, occurring in only two of 18 Sézary patients. Neither of these two patients was missing a copy of 17p. Possible abnormalities of p53 pathway function through mdm-2 over-expression were also investigated. Although all 18 patients had normal levels of mdm-2 RNA 4/18 over-expressed mdm-2 protein. One patient with advanced disease and the highest percentage of malignant cells overexpressed mdm-2 protein and possessed a nonsense p53 gene mutation. The five patients with abnormalities of p53 or mdm-2 were found to have significantly highest absolute lymphocyte counts and higher absolute numbers of Sézary cells (P=0-021 and 0.027 respectively). In summary, molecular alternations of 17p and potential p53 pathway abnormalities are a common event in Sézary syndrome and appear to be associated with more advanced disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Female
  • Genes, p53 / genetics*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Sezary Syndrome / genetics*
  • Sezary Syndrome / therapy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • MDM2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2