Immunohistochemical detection of p53 protein in basal cell skin cancer after microwave-assisted antigen retrieval

Evke E., Minbay F. Z. , Temel Ş. G. , Kahveci Z.

JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR HISTOLOGY, vol.40, no.1, pp.13-21, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10735-008-9208-8
  • Page Numbers: pp.13-21


p53 is the most frequently altered tumor-suppressor gene in skin cancer. In normal tissues the p53 protein (wild type) has a very short half-life and it is not detectable immunohistochemically. In contrast, the mutant p53 protein has an extended half-life in tumor cells and can be detected by immunohistochemical methods. p53 is widely used as an indicator of tumor aggression and progression. Fixation methods especially formaldehyde based fixation may mask the immunohistochemical detection of p53 protein but antigen retrieval methods enhance the inmmunohistochemical detection of p53 protein by remodification of protein structure. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of different fixatives, of microwaving and microwave pretreatment method to retrieve p53 immunoreactivity in paraffin-embedded non-lesioned (adjacent normal tissue) human skin samples or pathological human skin samples diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma. The samples were fixed at RT and/or in microwave oven either in neutral buffered formalin or alcohol for different time periods. For antigen retrieval, the sections were irradiated in a microwave oven for 5 cycles in 10 mM citrate buffer (pH 6.00). In this study the effects of six different fixation methods on the immunohistochemical staining have been investigated in basal cell tumor specimens. The application of antigen retrieval method was also examined and compared. Optimal results were obtained using samples fixed in alcohol either at room temperature (24 h) or in microwave oven.