Occurrence of Human Papillomavirus and p53 Gene Mutations in Kaposi's Sarcoma

Franco Scinicariello*, Matthew J. Dolan, Ioan Nedelcu, Stephen K. Tyring, Julia K. Hilliard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Epidemiological evidence indicates that a sexually transmitted agent might be involved in the etiopathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). The prevalence of human papillomaviruses (HPV) in KS has been the focus of several investigations that have reported conflicting data. In addition, mutations of the p53 gene, which are the most frequent genetic changes found in human tumors, are absent in HPV-positive cervical carcinomas leading to the hypothesis that the function of p53 in HPV-positive tumors is inactiveted through binding to the E6 viral gene product. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the presence of HPV and p53 gene mutations in 17 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded KS [7 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-KS (AiDS-KS) and 10 classic KS] specimens. HPV 6 DNA was detected in an AiDS-KS specimen, and HPV 16 DNA was found in 3 classic KS specimens. Heterozygous mutations of the p53 gene were detected in five (24%) KS samples. No p53 mutations were detected in HPV-positive KS. The p53 mutations were mainly transversions (four of five). These data indicate that HPV may contribute to the pathogenesis of some cases of KS and that p53 alteration may represent a key event in the progression of the malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71466
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Aug 1994
Externally publishedYes


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