The expression of p63 is associated with the differential stage in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and EBV infection

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Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is common among Southern Chinese and the main histology is the undifferentiated carcinoma associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. p63 is a recently proved member of the p53 family based on the structural similarity to p53, but its function in NPC is still unknown. This study was aimed to investigate the association between p63 and NPC. Results: p63 was expressed in 100%(202/202) of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) tissues but not in 29 nasopharynx inflammation and 17 non-cancerous nasopharyngeal epidermises on a tissue microarray by immunohistostaining. Further investigation suggested that the p63 expression was associated with the differential stage of NPC: p63 strong staining in Keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma, differentiated non-keratinizing NPC and undifferentiated non-keratinizing NPC presented the percentage of 5/8 (62.5%), 43/48 (92.5%) and 50/50 (100%), respectively. A significant difference (p = 0.001) existed between the keratinizing and non-keratinizing groups. No pathogenic mutations were detected in p63 gene in 12 primary NPC tissues and matched peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). Half-life measurement study revealed distinct stability of p63 protein in the different cell lines, especially between the carcinoma cell lines with EBV infection and the non-cancerous cell lines. The results of immunoprecipitation suggested a direct interaction between Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 5 (EBNA-5) and p63 protein in NPC, and this binding would increase the stability of p63. Conclusion: Our data suggested p63 might be used as an adjunct diagnostic marker of NPC and contributed a new way to understand the contribution of the EBV in the pathogenesis of NPC. © 2006 Guo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Guo, C., Pan, Z. G., Li, D. J., Yun, J. P., Zheng, M. Z., Hu, Z. Y., … Zeng, Y. X. (2006). The expression of p63 is associated with the differential stage in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and EBV infection. Journal of Translational Medicine, 4.

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