Expression of telomerase and p53 in ameloblastoma of the jaw

Ming Zhong, DDS, MS,(a) Luhuang Zhang, DDS, MD,(a) Jie Wang, DDS, MD,(a) Bo Zhang, DDS, PhD,(b) and Lin Hou, DDS(b)

(a)Department of Pathology, College of Stomatology, China Medical University, Shenyang, and (b)Department of Pathology, Medical College, Peking University, Beijing, P. R. China

Purpose: This study was aimed to detect the expression of p53 protein, hTR, and hTERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase, TERT) mRNA in ameloblastoma (AB) of the jaw, and to investigate its correlation with the clinical and biological features of AB.
Materials and Methods: In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical assay were used to detect the expression of HTR and hTERT mRNA in 54 cases of AB. Meanwhile, S-P method was used to determine the expression of p53 protein in 49 cases of ABs. Specimens from 25 cases of odontogenic keratocyst (OKC) and seven cases of normal oral mucosa were used as control. Chi square test and Kendall Pearson correlation analysis were used to determine the relationship between gene expression and clinical features of AB.
Results: The positive ratio of hTR, hTERT mRNA was 2/7 and 1/7 in normal oral mucosa, respectively; 81.2% (13/16) and 87.4% (14/16) in odontogenic keratocyst (OKC), 94.4% (51/54) and 94.4% (51/54) in AB, respectively. There were significant differences among these three groups (p<0.001). The hTR was strongly correlated with hTERT mRNA (rs=1.000, p<0.001). The p53 protein was expressed in nucleolus of 87.5% (42/49) AB, 44% (11/25) OKC, 33.3% (1/3) normal oral mucosa, respectively. A strong correlation between hTERT mRNA and p53 protein was found (rs=0.754, p<0.001). An intermediate positive correlation between hTR mRNA and p53 protein was noted (rs=0.536, p<0.001).
Conclusion: The positive ratios of hTR and hTERT were significantly higher than p53 protein in AB. Telomerase activity and p53 expression play an important role in genesis and development of AB.
(Int Chin J Dent 2004; 4: 27-33.)

Clinical Significance: The study investigated that the high expression of hTR and hTERT was closely related to the clinical biological behavior of AB and regulated by p53 protein, which provided a significant proof for looking for a new target to therapy AB by gene.
Key Words: ameloblastoma, hTERT, hTR, odontogenic keratocyst, p53 protein, telomerase.