The p53 gene on chromosome 17p is considered to be a tumor suppressor gene, and frequent mutations of the p53 gene have been found in a wide variety of human cancers. We examined 31 ovarian cancers for allelic losses and mutations of the p53 gene by polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism analysis as well as restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Allelic loss of the p53 gene was detected in 16 of 20 cases (80%). Mutations were detected in 9 of 31 cases (29%): 2 cases in exon 4; 5 cases in exons 5–6; and 2 cases in exons 7–8. In 8 of 9 cases, p53 mutations were accompanied by losses of the normal allele. These alterations of the p53 gene were commonly detected from stage I to stage IV. These results suggest that alterations of the p53 gene play an important role in the development of human ovarian cancers.


This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for a Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy for Cancer Control from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan and by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Japan. Y. S. is an awardee of a Research Resident Fellowship from the Foundation for Promotion of Cancer Research.

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