Screen p53 mutations in hepatocellular carcinoma by FASAY: A novel splicing mutation

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To establish a routine procedure for the detection of p53 mutations in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surgical resections using the FASAY (functional analysis of separated alleles of p53 on yeast) procedure.


p53 status was analyzed by FASAY and cDNA sequencing in 50 cases of HCC. After the extraction of RNA from the frozen tumor and corresponding normal tissues, reverse transcription RT-PCR was carried out using these samples. The assay can detect mutations of p53 mRNA between codons 67 and 347 by the DNA-binding activity of the protein and reveal them as red colonies.


Of the 50 specimens, 29 (58%) were positive (mutant) by FASAY. Sequencing analysis confirmed that all 29 FASAY positive tumors harbored mutations, and that no mutations were detectable in any FASAY negative tumors. In 29 p53 mutations, 22 mutations were point missense mutation, 5 were deletions and 2 were splicing mutations. A novel splice mutation on splice donor of intron 6 was reported, which could produce two different mRNAs, respectively using the nearest upstream and downstream receissive splice donor sites.


FASAY is a sensitive method for detecting the various types of p53 mutations in HCC, suggesting that the yeast functional assay for the detection of p53 mutations may be essential for elucidating their clinical significance.

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