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Early p53 Alterations in Mouse Skin Carcinogenesis by UVB Radiation: Immunohistochemical Detection of Mutant p53 Protein in Clusters of Preneoplastic Epidermal Cells

Rob J. Berg, Henk J. Van Kranen, Heggert G. Rebel, Anja De Vries, Willem A. Van Vloten, Coen F. Van Kreiji, Jan C. Van Der Leun and Frank R. De Gruiji
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 93, No. 1 (Jan. 9, 1996), pp. 274-278
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/38353
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Early p53 Alterations in Mouse Skin Carcinogenesis by UVB Radiation: Immunohistochemical Detection of Mutant p53 Protein in Clusters of Preneoplastic Epidermal Cells
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Abstract

High levels of the p53 protein are immunohistochemically detectable in a majority of human nonmelanoma skin cancers and UVB-induced murine skin tumors. These increased protein levels are often associated with mutations in the conserved domains of the p53 gene. To investigate the timing of the p53 alterations in the process of UVB carcinogenesis, we used a well defined murine model (SKH:HR1 hairless mice) in which the time that tumors appear is predictable from the UVB exposures. The mice were subjected to a series of daily UVB exposures, either for 17 days or for 30 days, which would cause skin tumors to appear around 80 or 30 weeks, respectively. In the epidermis of these mice, we detected clusters of cells showing a strong immunostaining of the p53 protein, as measured with the CM-5 polyclonal antiserum. This cannot be explained by transient accumulation of the normal p53 protein as a physiological response to UVB-induced DNA damage. In single exposure experiments the observed transient CM-5 immunoreactivity lasted for only 3 days and was not clustered, whereas these clusters were still detectable as long as 56 days after 17 days of UVB exposure. In addition, ≈ 70% of these patches reacted with the mutant-specific monoclonal antibody PAb240, whereas transiently induced p53-positive cells did not. In line with indicative human data, these experimental results in the hairless mouse model unambiguously demonstrate that constitutive p53 alterations are causally related to chronic UVB exposure and that they are a very early event in the induction of skin cancer by UVB radiation.

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