Loss of expression or mutations in the p73 tumour suppressor gene are not involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanomas

Melanoma Res. 1998 Dec;8(6):504-9. doi: 10.1097/00008390-199812000-00005.


Recently p73, a novel p53 homologous tumour suppressor gene, has been cloned and mapped to chromosome 1p36. Like p53, important functions of p73 in controlling the cell cycle and programmed cell death have been described. Loss of p73 has been demonstrated in neuroblastomas and its involvement in tumorigenesis has been suggested to occur in other neuroectodermal cancers. Since genetic alterations at the tumour suppressor locus 1p36 have been also identified in malignant melanomas, we investigated the expression of p73 in a panel of nine different human melanoma cell lines, 17 melanocytic naevi, 17 primary malignant melanomas and 20 metastases by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blotting. We observed significant p73 mRNA expression in all the cell lines and tissue specimens except one benign melanocytic naevus and one melanoma metastasis. Sequencing the PCR fragments of nine melanoma cell lines derived from primary tumours and five metastases over the entire p73 DNA binding domain revealed wild-type sequences in all cases. In summary, we conclude that loss of p73 mRNA expression or mutations in the p73 DNA binding domain do not represent common genetic events involved in the pathogenesis of malignant melanomas.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Mutation* / genetics
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • TP73 protein, human
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins