APC, K-ras codon 12 mutations and p53 gene expression in carcinoma and adenoma of the gall-bladder suggest two genetic pathways in gall-bladder carcinogenesis

Pathol Int. 1996 May;46(5):333-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.1996.tb03618.x.


Current histopathological evidence suggests that gall-bladder cancer has two main morphological pathways for its development: de novo (ab initio) origin and adenoma-carcinoma sequence. In order to investigate the genetic difference between them, APC mutations were examined by RNase protection analysis, K-ras mutations by nested polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, and p53 gene overexpression by immunohisto-chemical analysis in both tumors and benign lesions of the gall-bladder. Overexpression of the p53 gene was detected in 105 of 164 (64%) de novo carcinomas regardless of size and depth of invasion, but not in 16 tumors of carcinoma-in-pyloric-gland-type adenoma, or in 51 adenomas (47 pyloric gland-type and 4 intestinal-type). K-ras codon 12 mutation was detected in 4 of 40 (10%) de novo carcinomas, all four being associated with p53 gene overexpression, but not in 12 tumors of carcinoma in adenoma or 16 adenomas (14 pyloric gland-type and 2 intestinal-type). APC mutation was not found in 16 de novo carcinomas or the one pyloric gland-type adenoma examined. These results suggest that there are two distinct genetic pathways in gall-bladder carcinogenesis; that is, de novo carcinoma develops from a predominant p53 alteration with low K-ras mutation, and carcinoma-in-pyloric-gland-type adenoma develops from p53-, K-ras-, and APC-gene-unrelated, as yet unknown, alteration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Codon
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Genes, APC*
  • Genes, p53*
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Mutation


  • Codon