Background: The development of cervical carcinoma is influenced by multiple factors, including the presence of certain high risk types of human papillomavirus. The purpose of the current study was to investigate possible cooperating genetic changes by examining the expression of p53, p62 myc, and p21 ras in cervical biopsy specimens.
Methods: Three hundred and ninety-five cervical biopsy specimens representing normal through high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) were screened by immunohistochemistry for expression of p53, p62myc, and p21ras.
Results: Neither the proportion of tissues staining positive for a given protein nor the staining patterns within the epithelial layers differed significantly among normal or CIN biopsy samples. However, grade specific nuclear staining of p21ras was found in the cells of 10 lesions that were classified as CIN I by histology.
Conclusions: These results established the normal distribution and expression patterns of p53, p62myc, and p21ras within 395 cervical biopsy samples representing normal through CIN III histology. The expression of these proteins (e.g., staining intensity and layer of epithelium staining positive) is similar in normal tissues and those demonstrating all grades of CIN.