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Disease Markers
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3625279, 7 pages
Research Article

Expression Profile of p53 and p21 in Large Bowel Mucosa as Biomarkers of Inflammatory-Related Carcinogenesis in Ulcerative Colitis

1Colentina University Hospital, 020125 Bucharest, Romania
2Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania

Received 8 April 2016; Accepted 5 July 2016

Academic Editor: Caterina Longo

Copyright © 2016 Cristiana Popp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory bowel disease that slightly increases the risk of colorectal cancer in patients with long-standing extended disease. Overexpression of p53 and p21 in colonic epithelia is usually detected in UC patients when no dysplasia is histologically seen and it is used by pathologists as a discriminator between regenerative changes and intraepithelial neoplasia, as well as a tissue biomarker useful to predict the risk of evolution toward malignancy. We present a one-year prospective observational study including a cohort of 45 patients with UC; p53 and p21 were evaluated in epithelial cells. p53 was positive in 74 samples revealed in 5% to 90% of epithelial cells, while 63 biopsies had strong positivity for p21 in 5% to 50% of epithelial cells. Architectural distortion was significantly correlated with p53 overexpression in epithelial cells. Thus, we consider that architectural distortion is a good substitute for p53 and p21 expression. We recommend use of p53 as the most valuable tissue biomarker in surveillance of UC patients, identifying the patients with higher risk for dysplasia. Association of p21 is also recommended for a better quantification of risk and for diminishing the false-negative results.