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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Homozygous proline at codon 72 of p53 as a potential risk factor favoring the development of undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma.

The p53 tumor suppressor gene is altered in human cancer. A common polymorphism occurs at codon 72 of exon 4, with two alleles encoding either arginine (CGC) or proline (CCC). No data exist about the association of a distinct codon 72 variant with the histological subtypes of thyroid carcinoma. We developed a new one-step real-time PCR assay on the LightCycler to detect codon 72 polymorphism in the p53 gene. We studied 21 papillary, 18 follicular and 22 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas and compared them with 15 adenomas and 36 normal thyroid tissues (controls); moreover, we compared the cases for histological, clinical and demographic variables and genotype prevalence. In controls, the frequency of the three genotypes Arg/Arg, Arg/Pro, and Pro/Pro was 41.7, 50.0 and 8.3%, respectively. The homozygous proline was not found in benign thyroid adenomas and differentiated thyroid carcinomas. In contrast, all undifferentiated thyroid carcinomas (100%) had the homozygous proline phenotype. The frequency of the two other genotypes Arg/Arg and Arg/Pro was 66.7% and 33.3% in adenomas, 81.0% and 19.0% in papillary thyroid carcinomas, and 83.3% and 16.7% in follicular thyroid carcinomas, respectively. Comparing the genotypes with tumor stage, no correlation was found. However, lymph node and distant metastases status showed a statistically significant prevalence for the homozygous phenotypes Arg/Arg and Pro/Pro. There was no association between a special genotype and age and sex. We conclude that homozygous proline is a potential risk factor favoring the development of an undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma, and that the homozygous phenotypes at codon 72 of p53 are associated with a poorer prognosis of thyroid carcinoma.[1]


  1. Homozygous proline at codon 72 of p53 as a potential risk factor favoring the development of undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma. Boltze, C., Roessner, A., Landt, O., Szibor, R., Peters, B., Schneider-Stock, R. Int. J. Oncol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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