Background: The p73 gene is structurally related to the tumor suppressor gene p53. The role of p73 in tumor development is still unclear and no data on ovarian cancer are so far available. For this reason we have analyzed, in a panel of ovarian cancers, the allelic distribution and expression of p73. Patients and methods: Fifty-one samples from ovarian cancers and five human ovarian cancer cell lines growing in culture were analyzed. Allelic origin was analyzed by PCR after digestion with the restriction enzyme Sty I. Heterozygous, informative cases were selected for studies aimed at evaluating allelic expression of p73. Results: We found an allelic distribution similar to that previously reported. LOH was found in two patients with ovarian cancer. In one case in which normal ovarian tissue was available biallelic expression of p73 was found. Conclusion: In comparisons of ovarian cancers and borderline tumors, no differences in allelic distribution and/or expression were found, suggesting that p73 does not play an important role in the pathogenesis and development of ovarian cancer.
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