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TUMOURS of the skin and subcutaneous tissue are the most common tumours affecting dogs; they represent about 35.4 to 46.5 per cent of all tumours diagnosed in this species (Gamlem and others 2008). Many types of primary tumours occur on the skin, and approximately 20 to 40 per cent of these are malignant (Kaldrymidou and others 2002, Gamlem and others 2008).
Alterations of the p53 tumour suppressor gene have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of types of human tumours and were found in 50 per cent of skin cancer cases (Giglia-Mari and Sarasin 2003). Moreover, p53 mutations are frequent in normal sun-exposed skin and are considered as an early genetic event in the development of UV-induced skin cancer in human beings (Melnikova and Ananthaswamy 2005). Most mutations are localised within a highly conserved region of this gene between codons 120 and 290 (Levine and others 1994, Giglia-Mari and Sarasin 2003). In canine skin neoplasms, alterations of the p53 gene have been reported in single cases, including papilloma (codon 284) (Mayr and others 1994), hepatoid gland adenoma (codon 249) (Mayr and others 1997), squamous cell carcinoma (codon 89) (Mayr and others 1999a), mast cell tumour (codon 266) (Kanaya and others 2002), leiomyosarcoma (codon 274) and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (codons 259 and 261) (Nasir and others 2001).
This short communication describes the results of examination of canine skin tumours for the presence of p53 gene mutations.
One hundred dogs aged four-and-a-half months to 17 years with skin tumours were studied for the presence of alterations in the p53 gene. Tumour samples for the study were collected during surgery at a small animal practice. For histological examination and classification, 6 µm sections were prepared from formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded specimens. The slides were stained with …