Journal Article

Differences in the p53 gene mutational spectra of prostate cancers between Japan and Western countries.

M Watanabe, K Fukutome, T Shiraishi, M Murata, J Kawamura, J Shimazaki, T Kotake and R Yatani

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 7, pages 1355-1358
Published in print July 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online July 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Differences in the p53 gene mutational spectra of prostate cancers between Japan and Western countries.

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Mutations of the p53 gene are related to development of human cancers and their frequencies and spectra, the latter representing fingerprints left by carcinogens, provide information about the molecular epidemiology of the disease. Prostate cancer is the most common neoplasm in American males and although its incidence is still relatively low in Japanese people, it has recently been increasing with the westernization of life style. To assess the frequency and spectrum of p53 gene mutations in Japanese prostate cancers, we examined a series of 90 lesions using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. The patients' mean age was 69.3 years (range 57-87). Of the total, six were well-, 34 moderately- and 50 poorly-differentiated adenocarcinomas, and the median Gleason score was 7.9. Eleven of the 90 cases (12%) had mutations in exons 2-11 of the p53 gene: none of the five clinical-stage A, one of 25 stage B (4%), three of 35 stage C (9%) and seven of 25 stage D (28%) cancers. The correlation with an advanced stage was statistically significant. One insertion and 10 base pair substitutions were encountered, comprising six transversions (55%) and four transitions (36%). Two of the latter involved methylated cytosine-guanine (CpG). These 11 mutations were combined with 18 other mutations in previous reports concerning Japanese prostate cancers to facilitate comparison of the p53 gene mutational spectrum with those reported for American and European prostate cancers. In the latter, 61% were transitions and 33% were transversions. The greater proportion of transversions in the Japanese population suggests that there are different factors responsible for carcinogenesis of the prostate glands in the various countries.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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