We investigated the expression of p53 protein by immunohistochemistry and the expression of deleted in colorectal carcinoma (DCC) mRNA by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method in surgically resected tumors of gastric and colorectal cancers and compared these results to the clinicopathological features. Positive immunoreactions of p53 were observed in 21 of 42 gastric cancers (50%) and 25 of 37 colorectal cancers (67.6%). Decreased expression of DCC mRNA was observed in 15 of 38 gastric cancers (39.5%) and 10 of 28 colorectal cancers (35.7%). There was a significant correlation between the immunoreaction of p53 and the depth of tumor invasion in gastric cancer, as well as between the decreased expression of DCC mRNA and nodal metastasis in colorectal cancer. In early cases without metastasis and invasion beyond muscularis propria, none of six gastric cancers showed a p53 immunoreaction, while seven of 9 colorectal cancers showed positive immunoreactions. On the other hand, two of 4 gastric cancers showed decreased expression of DCC mRNA; whereas, none of the seven colorectal cancers did. Alteration of p53 might occur at a later stage in gastric cancer than in colorectal cancer and be associated with the acquisition of an invasive character. In contrast to gastric cancer, decreased expression of DCC mRNA might be present in a later stage in colorectal cancer than in gastric cancer, and be related to the acquisition of metastatic character to the lymph nodes. In conclusion, alterations of p53 or DCC may play different roles in the progression of gastric cancers as compared to colorectal cancers, and the occurrence of both p53 and DCC genes mutations may cause these cancers to become more malignant.
- Colorectal cancer
- Deleted in colorectal carcinoma gene
- Gastric cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research