Infrequent overexpression of p53 protein in Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric carcinomas

Jpn J Cancer Res. 1997 Mar;88(3):262-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.1997.tb00376.x.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection was studied in a total of 412 patients with poorly differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma by in situ hybridization for EBV-encoded small RNA. EBV-specific RNA was detected in tumor cell nuclei of 83 (20.1%) of 412 gastric carcinomas, of which 60 were histologically subclassified as gastric carcinoma with lymphoid stroma (GCLS). All EBV-positive gastric carcinomas as well as 90 randomly selected EBV-negative gastric carcinomas were further studied for p53 protein expression by immunohistochemistry. The overexpression of p53 protein was demonstrated in only 7 (8.4%) of 83 EBV-positive gastric carcinomas. This was in marked contrast to the frequency of 34.4% in EBV-negative gastric carcinomas. In addition, a few p53-positive nuclei were characteristically scattered in the tumors of many EBV-positive GCLS, but this was not regarded as p53 overexpression arising from mutation of the gene. Our findings suggested that EBV-associated gastric carcinomas may arise through a different mechanism from other types of gastric carcinomas without EBV infection.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / classification
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / virology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genes, p53*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • RNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms / classification
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / virology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis*


  • Epstein-Barr virus encoded RNA 1
  • RNA, Viral
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53