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

p21/WAF1 cyclin-kinase inhibitor expression in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas: a potential marker of p53 tumor-suppressor gene function.

p21WAF1 (wild-type p53-activated fragment 1) is involved in the control of mammalian cell cycle through the binding and inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk). Because the product of WAF1 gene is a potent downstream effector of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene function, its pattern of cellular expression might correlate with nuclear accumulation of p53-encoded protein and/or p53 gene mutations occurring in malignant lymphomas. To investigate this issue, we analyzed immunohistochemically the expression of p53 and p21WAF1 proteins in tissue involved by non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs;253 cases) of various histologic types. In a proportion of them (80 cases), we also investigated the possible presence of p53 gene mutations using single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and direct DNA sequencing. The absence of both p21WAF1 and p53 proteins was observed in 147 of 217 cases (67.7%) among CD30- NHL and in only 8 of 36 (22.2%) CD30+cases, which were mostly anaplastic large-cell lymphomas. A consistent number (> 10%) of p21WAF1-expressing cells was shown in 48 of 253 (18.9%) NHL cases, with a higher incidence in CD30+cases (25/36 [69.4%]), which mostly (21/36) coexpressed p53. These latter cases were characterized by a germline configuration of the p53 gene. In 50 of 253 NHL samples (19.7%), 47 of which (21.6%) belong to the CD30-group, neoplastic cells were p53+/p21-. In all of these cases, the p53+cells accounted for more than 50% of neoplastic cells, up to 100%. Point mutations of p53 gene were solely observed in all investigated cases with this latter phenotype. Our findings strongly suggest that the combined immunohistochemical evaluation of p53 and p21WAF1 is a valuable means of assessing the functional status of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene product in NHL with potential application in the monitorage and prognostication of individual cases.[1]


  1. p21/WAF1 cyclin-kinase inhibitor expression in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas: a potential marker of p53 tumor-suppressor gene function. Chilosi, M., Doglioni, C., Magalini, A., Inghirami, G., Krampera, M., Nadali, G., Rahal, D., Pedron, S., Benedetti, A., Scardoni, M., Macrì, E., Lestani, M., Menestrina, F., Pizzolo, G., Scarpa, A. Blood (1996) [Pubmed]
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