Recent data suggest that deletion of p16INK4 and mutation of TP53 are among the most common genetic events in the development of human cancer, since the codified proteins act as brakes of the abnormal cell cycle.
As the molecular events leading to the development of pediatric bone sarcomas remain unclear, we analyzed 75 osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma samples from 43 pediatric patients to search for alterations at the TP53 or p16INK4 tumor suppressor genes. By means of PCR-DGGE (polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) we detected TP53 point mutations in 18.6% of the tumor samples, but no constitutional mutations.
In the analysis of p16INK4, 7% of the samples harbored deletions of the gene but no point mutations were detected by SSCP (single strand conformation polymorphism) analysis, just the polymorphism Ala-->Thr at codon 148. These data support the hypothesis that TP53 alterations may play a role in the development of pediatric bone tumors and that the primary mechanism of inactivation of p16INK4 seems to be homozygous deletion rather than point mutation.
CITATION Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1997 Oct 1;98(1):50-5
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