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

Expression profiles of p63, p53, survivin, and hTERT in skin tumors.

BACKGROUND: p63 is a p53 homolog and a marker expressed in replicating keratinocytes. Survivin is a recently characterized inhibitor of apoptosis protein that is abundantly expressed in most solid and hematologic malignancies. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) is the major determinant of human telomerase activity, and its expression is indicative of unlimited replication. We herein evaluated the expression profiles of p63, p53, survivin, and hTERT in usual skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma ( SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and putative preneoplastic epidermal lesions, including actinic keratosis (AK), Bowen's disease, and porokeratosis. METHODS: Immunohistochemistry using antibodies against p63, p53, survivin, and hTERT was performed. Semi-quantitative evaluation (-, +, 2+, 3+) was carried out. RESULTS: BCCs showed diffuse p63 expression and SCCs heterogeneous p63 expression with negativity in terminally differentiated squamous cells. All preneoplastic epidermal lesions showed p63 expression in all cell layers. p53 was found in seven of 10 cases of BCCs, all 10 cases of SCCs, and nine of 10 cases of Bowen's disease. AK and porokeratosis revealed focal to moderate p53 expression. Survivin was found in eight of 10 cases of SCCs and eight of 10 cases of Bowen's disease. Six of 10 cases of BCCs revealed weak survivin positivity. AK and porokeratosis showed survivin expression confined to the basal layer. hTERT expression was found in most cases of skin cancers and preneoplastic lesions. CONCLUSIONS: p63 expression may be a marker of basal/progenitor cells and a diagnostic marker in skin tumors. p63 expression is not related to p53 expression in these tumors. This study points to a putative role of survivin and hTERT in the development of certain skin cancers. In addition, our data support the concept of porokeratosis being a premalignant condition.[1]


  1. Expression profiles of p63, p53, survivin, and hTERT in skin tumors. Park, H.R., Min, S.K., Cho, H.D., Kim, K.H., Shin, H.S., Park, Y.E. J. Cutan. Pathol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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