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c-myc, ras p21 and p53 expression in pleomorphic adenoma and its malignant form of the human salivary glands.

Using an immunohistochemical study and an immunoblot analysis, the expression of cellular oncogenes of the human salivary glands such as c-myc, ras p21, and p53 tumor-suppressor gene in pleomorphic adenomas and its malignant form, carcinoma in pleomorphic adenomas was examined to evaluate a differential biological significance, in comparison with that in normal salivary gland tissues. Immunohistochemically, the c-myc product was detected in 42% of the pleomorphic adenomas and in 56% of the carcinomas in pleomorphic adenoma. The ras p21 expression was observed in 24% of pleomorphic adenomas, and in 50% of carcinomas in pleomorphic adenoma. The p53 protein was detected in 18% of the pleomorphic adenomas and in 67% of the carcinomas in pleomorphic adenoma. Although there was no significant difference between the benign and malignant forms for the expression of c-myc, a statistical significance in ras p21 and p53 expression was found between the pleomorphic adenoma and its malignant form (P < 0.05) and P < 0.001, respectively). An immunoblotting assay clearly demonstrated the expression of c-myc and p53 gene products in both the benign and malignant forms of the pleomorphic adenoma, and that of ras p21 in the malignant form. These results indicate that activation of c-myc and ras p21 proto-oncogenes and the involvement of p53 mutation may play important roles in the malignant transformation of salivary gland pleomorphic adenoma.

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