The prevalence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) among the black community in South Africa is unacceptably high. The association between p53 protein, and PCNA overexpression and the presence of p53 gene mutations was evaluated. Materials and Methods: One hundred and ten formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks of OSCC were selected for immunohistochemical studies for p53 protein and PCNA expression using the DO-7 and PC10 monoclonal antibodies, respectively. DNA was extracted from fifty-five block and exons 5 to 9 of the p53 gene were amplified with nested primers, thereafter sequencing was performed to confirm the presence of mutations detected by single stranded conformational polymorphism. Results: Fifty-six cases (51%) showed p53 expression, while fourteen mutations (25%) were detected. A significant difference was found between the PCNA index in p53 positive and p53 negative rumors while the mean PCNA index for the tumors with p53 mutations was not significantly different from the tumors without mutations. Conclusions: No association between p53 protein overexpression and p53 gene mutations could be demonstrated.
The article was co-written by Prof Janse van Rensburg before she joined the University of Pretoria.