JOURNAL ARTICLE

P53, MAPK, topoisomerase II alpha and Ki67 immunohistochemical expression and KRAS/BRAF mutation in ovarian serous carcinomas

Dinka Sundov, Ana Caric, Ivana Mrklic, Dijana Gugic, Vesna Capkun, Irena Drmic Hofman, Branka Petric Mise, Snjezana Tomic
Diagnostic Pathology 2013 February 6, 8: 21
23388101

BACKGROUND: We investigated the immunohistochemical expression of p53, MAPK, topoisomerase II alpha (topoII alpha) and Ki67 in ovarian serous carcinomas (OSCs) along with mutational analysis for KRAS and BRAF.

METHODS: Eighty one cases of OSCs were reviewed and examined immunohistochemically using antibodies against p53, MAPK, topoII alpha and Ki67. Staining was evaluated as a percentage of immunopositive cells with cut-off levels at 10% for p53 and topoII alpha, and 5% for MAPK. The Ki67 immunoexpression was assessed by means of Olympus Image Analysis System as a percentage of immunopositive cells in 1000 tumor cells. KRAS and BRAF mutational analysis was performed on 73 available microdissected samples.

RESULTS: Of 81 cases of OSCs 13.6% were of low-grade and 86.4% were of high-grade morphology. In the high-grade group there was a significantly higher immunoexpression of p53 (P < 0.001) and topoII alpha (P = 0.001), with Ki67 median 56.5 vs. 19 in low-grade group (P < 0.001). The difference in immunoexpression of active MAPK between low- and high-grade group was also significant (P = 0.003). MAPK positive immunostaining was detected in 63.6% of low-grade vs. 17.1% of high-grade OSCs. The frequency of KRAS mutation was significantly higher in low-grade as compared to high-grade group (P = 0.006). None of the samples had BRAF mutation. In addition, we detected positive MAPK immunoexpression in 13/59 samples with wild-type KRAS, suggesting that activation of MAPK pathway is not ultimately related either to KRAS or BRAF mutation. Seven morphologically high-grade samples (11.7%) showed both KRAS mutation and p53 immunopositivity.

CONCLUSIONS: Although this study is limited by its humble number of low-grade samples, our data fit the proposed dualistic pathway of ovarian carcinogenesis. Mutational analysis for KRAS and BRAF discloses some possible interactions between different tumorigenic pathways of low- and high-grade carcinomas. Immunohistochemical staining for MAPK was not sufficiently sensitive, nor specific, to precisely predict the KRAS mutation. However, it appears to be quite reliable in ruling out a KRAS mutation if the staining is negative.

VIRTUAL SLIDES: The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/9283563368804632.

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