Differences in the mutation of the p53 gene in exons 6 and 7 in cervical samples from HIV- and HPV-infected women

Background Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a serious problem for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women, increases their risk of cervical lesions and cancer. In cervical carcinogenesis, mutations in the p53 gene occur most frequently within exons 5–8. To our knowledge, no previous studies have analyzed mutations in exons 5–8 of the p53 gene in HIV- and HPV-infected women. In our study, we verified these mutations in women with and without cervical abnormalities. Findings The study included 160 women, divided into three groups: (1) 83 HPV- and HIV-infected women (HIV group); (2) 37 HPV-infected/HIV-uninfected (control group); and (3) 40 normal cytology/DNA-HPV negative/HIV-uninfected women (negative control p53 reactions). HPV-DNA was detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genotyping by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Using primers for exons 5–8, the mutation of the p53 gene was verified by PCR-single strand conformational polymorphism. The total mutation of the p53 gene in exons 5–8 was not significantly associated with the HIV and control groups. The mutations in exon 7 were the highest in the HIV group (43.8%) and in exon 6 in the control group (57.2%) (p = 0.0793) suggesting a tendency toward differential mutation in exon 7 in the HIV group. Conclusions Our study provides preliminary evidence that the mutation in exon 7 might be an important differentiating factor for cervical carcinogenesis in HIV-infected women. This aspect deserves an additional cross-sectional and longitudinal study using a larger sample size with a higher number of High-grade squamous intraephitelial lesion (HSIL) to observe the evolution of cervical lesions.