Stage-independent expression and genetic analysis of tp73 in neuroblastoma

Massimo Romani, Paola Scaruffi, Ida Casciano, Katia Mazzocco, Crocifissa Lo Cunsolo, Andrea Cavazzana, Claudio Gambini, Luca Boni, Bruno De Bernardi, Gian Paolo Tonini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tp73 gene, a tp53 homologue, has been sub-regionally mapped at 1p36.3, a chromosomal region frequently deleted in neuroblastoma. Due to its chromosomal localization and to the mono-allelic expression observed in some neuroblastoma cell lines, it was proposed that tp73 might be involved in the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma. Functional assays have demonstrated that tp73 can inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. The role of this gene in tumorigenesis, however, is still unclear. We analyzed tp73 expression in 95 sporadic neuroblastoma samples by RT-PCR and we detected the tp73 transcript in 46 cases (48.4%), without significant correlation with age, clinical stage or 3-year overall survival. A genetic polymorphism in the 2nd exon of tp73 was utilized to identify the transcribed allele in tumor-cell samples. Expression from only one of the tp73 alleles was found in 13 out of 16 heterozygous tumors, while in 3 samples both alleles were present. Genotype analysis of 73 patients and 150 controls showed a significant deviation (p = 0.0308) from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for a tp73 allele only among neuroblastoma patients. The absence of correlation between tp73 expression and clinical stage, age and survival suggests that this gene does not play an essential function in the clinical course of the disease. However, the distribution of genomic tp73 alleles in patients indicates that a role of this gene in the development of neuroblastoma cannot be completely ruled out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-369
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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