Using anti-p53 (PAb1801 and PAb240), anti-DNA polymerase α and Ki-67 monoclonal antibodies, the expression of p53 was studied in 11 normal endometria, 14 endometrial hyperplasias and 27 endometrial carcinomas and its relationship to the proliferative activity of the tumors was examined. Normal endometria and simple hyperplasias were completely negative for p53. The PAb1801 indices of complex hyperplasias and complex atypical hyperplasias were 2.5±1.8% and 5.0±3.2%, respectively. The PAb1801 indices of grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3 endometrial carcinomas were 10.2±14.2%, 44.4±29/0% and 45.0±32.5%, respectively. These results indicate a progressively enhanced p53 expression in the sequence from normal endometrium, through hyperplasia to carcinoma. A significant correlation between p53 expression and labeling indices of Ki-67 and DNA polymerase α was observed in endometrial carcinomas. The endo-metrial carcinomas with p53 overexpression developed mainly in post-menopausal patients and were frequently high-grade tumors with deep myometrial invasion. These findings may indicate that overexpression of p53 protein contributes to the proliferative activity of the tumor cells.