British journal of cancer

Upregulation of p16(INK4A) and Bax in p53 wild/p53-overexpressing crypts in ulcerative colitis-associated tumours.

PMID 15292938


In ulcerative colitis (UC)-associated tumours, p53 gene mutations and p53 protein overexpression are frequently found in early stages, but the two types of alteration do not always coincide. To clarify this discrepancy, p53 mutations and expression of p53-associated molecules were analysed in UC-associated dysplasias by a combination of microdissection, polymerase chain reaction-direct sequencing and immunohistochemistry at the single crypt level. Mismatch of p53 protein overexpression (+)/mutation (-) or p53 overexpression (-)/gene mutation (+) was found in nine crypts in regenerative mucosa (19 crypts), in 27 in low-grade dysplasia (41), in one in high-grade dysplasia (5) and in 12 in invasive carcinomas (17). Regarding these mismatched crypts of the first type, significant increase in p16(INK4A) and Bax expression was found. The Ki-67 labelling index was depressed in such p53-diffusely positive lesions with the wild-type p53 gene, compared to their p53-diffusely positive and mutant type counterparts. p16(INK4A) was upregulated indirectly as part of the negative feedback, and increase in Bax, directly controlled by wild-type p53, indicates upregulation of apoptosis. No significant relation with p53-related gene products was detected with the p53 protein overexpression (-)/p53 mutation (+) mismatch. Therefore, a tumorigenesis pathway independent of p53 dysfunction appears to exist in association with ulcerative colitis.