Identification of p53 gene mutations in bladder cancers and urine samples

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Science  03 May 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5006, pp. 706-709
DOI: 10.1126/science.2024123


Although bladder cancers are very common, little is known about their molecular pathogenesis. In this study, invasive bladder cancers were evaluated for the presence of gene mutations in the p53 suppressor gene. Of 18 tumors evaluated, 11 (61 percent) were found to have genetic alterations of p53. The alterations included ten point mutations resulting in single amino acid substitutions, and one 24-base pair deletion. In all but one case, the mutations were associated with chromosome 17p allelic deletions, leaving the cells with only mutant forms of the p53 gene products. Through the use of the polymerase chain reaction and oligomer-specific hybridization, p53 mutations were identified in 1 to 7 percent of the cells within the urine sediment of each of three patients tested. The p53 mutations are the first genetic alterations demonstrated to occur in a high proportion of primary invasive bladder cancers. Detection of such mutations ex vivo has clinical implications for monitoring individuals whose tumor cells are shed extracorporeally.

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