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ABSTRACT: Although ras oncogenes and p53 tumor suppressor gene mutations are implicated in the development of several human tumors, little is known about their role in the pathogenesis of primary cardiac tumors. Paraffin-embedded tissue from 19 cardiac myxomas were investigated for the presence of ras oncogenes and p53 tumor suppressor gene abnormalities. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to identify the accumulation of p21-ras and p53 proteins. A polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify exons 1 and 2 of the ras genes and exons 5 to 8 of the p53 gene. The PCR products were analyzed by single strand conformation polymorphism analysis and by direct DNA sequencing. Three of 19 myxomas showed strong positive staining for the ras p21 protein. In contrast, nuclear p53 was not detectable in any of the myxomas. Among the ras p21 immunopositive myxomas, 2 were heterozygous for a missense point mutation of the K-ras, Gly 12Asp. Further screening of the remaining myxomas showed no mutation or even silent polymorphism in any exon of the ras and p53. The results suggest that although genetic alterations of ras oncogenes and p53 are uncommon events in cardiac myxomas, ras mutations may be involved in the pathogenesis of a subgroup of this type of tumor.
Pathology - Research and Practice 02/2000; 196(9):601-5. · 1.21 Impact Factor