Expression of p63 in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

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The p63 gene, a homolog of the tumor suppressor gene TP53, maps to chromosome 3q27-28, a region frequently displaying genomic amplification in squamous cell carcinomas. p63 is expressed in a variety of epithelial tissues and has been reported to be critical for the normal development of stratified epithelia, including skin epidermis. In a previous study, the authors reported the expression of p63 in occasional cells in the germinal center of lymph nodes and also observed p63 expression in B-cell lymphomas, among other tumor types surveyed in that analysis. The present study was conducted to further analyze the potential clinical significance of identifying p63 expression, assessing a larger cohort of well-characterized patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (n = 172 cases) and a panel of established lymphoma cell lines. p63 expression at the microanatomic detail was examined by immunohistochemistry using a monoclonal antibody (clone 4A4), while distinction of p63 isoforms was analyzed by Western blotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using isoform-specific primers. The authors found that a subset of DLBCL (32% of cases) expressed p63 in the nuclei of neoplastic lymphocytes. Examination of the different p63 isoforms revealed that the ΔNp63 species was expressed by only one cell line, while the other p63 isoforms were found in most cell lines analyzed. The authors also observed that p63 expression correlated with high proliferative index, as assessed by Ki-67 immunostaining. Even though in univariate analysis p63 expression did not correlate with overall survival, the association of p63 with increased proliferative index suggests its involvement in DLBCL tumor progression.

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