Expression of p21 in 5V40 large T antigen positive human pleural mesothelioma: relationship with survival

Baldi, A.; Groeger, A. M.; Esposito, V.; Cassandro, R.; Tonini, G.; Battista, T.; di Marino, M. P.; Vincenzi, B.; Santini, M.; Angelini, A.; Rossiello, R.; Baldi, F.; Paggi, M. G.
April 2002
Thorax;Apr2002, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p353
Academic Journal
Background: Mesothelioma is the most commonly occurring primary pleural neoplasm. Several studies have documented an increase in the incidence of this malignancy during the last decades. Although the association between asbestos exposure and development of mesothelioma is generally accepted, the exact mechanism of carcinogenesis is unknown. Recently, Simian virus 40 large T antigen (SY40 Tag) expression has been detected in pleural mesothelioma The ability of SV40 oncoproteins to inactivate p53 and retinoblastoma tumour suppressor proteins has been proposed as an important step in the pathogenesis of human mesothelioma Methods: To obtain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of mesothelioma, the expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p21WAFl/CIP1 (p21), a downstream target of p53, was evaluated immunohistochemically in a group of 29 mesothelioma specimens already characterised for the presence of SV4O lag sequences. Results: Statistical analysis did not reveal any correlation between p21 expression and histopathological type of mesothelioma using the χ² test (p=0.577). A significant positive relationship was found between p21 expression level and the patients' overall survival according to the Kaplan-Meier survival curves and using a log rank test (median difference in survival 7 months, 95% Cl 4.8 to 9.9; p<0.001). Conclusions: Determination of p21 expression bears a prognostic significance in patients affected with mesothelioma, further underlining the role of SV4O in the pathogenesis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.


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