Evidence for a Gene on 17p13.3, Distal to TP53, as a Target for Allele Loss in Breast Tumors without p53 Mutations
AbstractIn breast cancer, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on 17p is a frequent event and a likely target is the p53 gene on 17p13.1. However, several LOH mapping studies have indicated that, in some breast tumors, LOH affects only the most distal 17p markers, suggestive of a second tumor suppressor locus in 17p13.3. In order to distinguish which gene has most probably served as the target for LOH on 17p, we have screened 141 breast tumors for somatic mutations in the p53 gene in conjunction with detailed LOH mapping on the short arm of chromosome 17. A total of 32 mutations were detected in 31 tumors, 15 of which have never been reported in breast cancer before. The majority are point mutations leading to an amino acid change in the protein. In addition, we have stained a subset of 87 tumors for the p53 protein by immunohistochemistry. In 21 of these tumors (24%), nuclear staining was detected in over 25% of the tumor cells with the anti-p53 antibody DO7. A positive correlation was found between p53-positive staining and p53 mutation ( P < 0.001). A strong association was observed between p53 mutation and LOH at the TP53 locus but not between p53 expression and LOH on 17p. In breast tumors without a detectable p53 mutation but with LOH on 17p, the 17p13.3 region is always involved and, in some cases, even exclusively involved. These results suggest that a second tumor suppressor gene, located distal to TP53 , is targeted by LOH on 17p in some breast tumors and that a substantial number of breast tumors stabilize p53 through mechanisms other than mutation. 1 This work was supported by Grant 1KW 91-05 from the Dutch Cancer Society and Grant SVF 92-1 from the European Science Foundation. 2 To whom requests for reprints should be addressed.