Using PCR amplification followed by confirmation with Bst U I restriction enzyme digestion, the p53 Pro sequence was determined in tissues from 88 normal cervices, in 184 cervical swabs with mildly abnormal Pap smear, in 50 squamous cell cervical carcinoma specimens, and in 30 cervical adenocarcinoma samples. The frequencies for homozygous proline (Pro-72), homozygous arginine (Arg-72), and heterozygous proline/arginine (Pro/Arg-72) were 23% (n = 20), 28% (n = 25), and 49% (n = 43), respectively, in normal cervices; 24% (n = 45), 28% (n = 51), and 48% (n = 88), respectively, in samples with mild dyskaryotic changes in Pap smears; 26% (n = 13), 28% (n = 14), and 46% (n = 23), respectively, in squamous cell carcinomas, and 33.3% (n = 26), 46.2% (n = 36), and 20.5% (n = 16), respectively, in adenocarcinomas. In the present study, we have found that p53 polymorphism may have a role in the development of adenocarcinoma but not squamous cell carcinoma. The arginine-encoding allele may thus be an important factor affecting host susceptibility to the development of adenocarcinoma.

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