p53 protein immunostaining in routinely processed paraffin-embedded sections.

J. M. Bruner, J. H. Connelly, H. Saya

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Mutation of the p53 tumor suppressor gene is the most common genetic alteration in human tumors. The altered protein product of the mutant gene is stabilized in tumor cells and can be detected using monoclonal antibody immunohistochemistry. We report a technique for immunostaining of the altered p53 protein in routinely processed paraffin-embedded tissue sections, comparing this method with a frozen-section immunostain method for concordance. Similarly processed tumor cell lines with known mutations or deletions of the p53 gene served as positive or negative controls. The results in 25 human gliomas and 20 colorectal carcinomas showed a 100% correspondence of positive reactivity in the colorectal carcinomas and an 83% correspondence in the gliomas. In no case did the paraffin-embedded sections react in the absence of frozen section reactivity (that is, there were no false positives). Three of 18 gliomas showed reactivity in frozen sections without reactivity in the companion paraffin-embedded sections. This discrepancy could have been caused by technical factors such as length of fixation time. We propose that this new paraffin-embedded section immunostaining method will be of value as a screening technique for the investigation of p53 mutations in archived human tumors. The data thus obtained may then be correlated with clinical information and perhaps be of value in diagnosis or predicting outcome for various human cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-194
Number of pages6
JournalModern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 03-1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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