The high prevalence of p53 mutations in human cancers and the suggestion from several groups that the presence or absence of p53 mutations might have both prognostic and therapeutic consequences point to the importance of optimal methods for p53 determination. Several strategies exploring this have been described, based either on mRNA or genomic DNA as a template. However, no comparative study on the reliability of the two templates has been performed. The principal aim of this study was to study the concordance of RNA- and DNA-based direct sequencing methods in detecting p53 mutations in breast tumors. In 100 tumors, 22 mutations were detected by both methods. Furthermore, one stop mutation, two splice-site mutations, and one intron alteration were found only by genomic sequencing. In addition, the comparative study suggests that cells with missense mutations have increased steady-state concentrations of p53-specific mRNA, in contrast to cells with a gene encoding a truncated protein.
1998. Vol. 44, no 3