Human RB2/p130 is a member of the retinoblastoma (Rb) family which also includes the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene RB/p105 (RB1) and the retinoblastoma related gene, p107. RB1 and other members of Rb family, p107 and p130 perform overlapping, but not fully redundant functions in cell cycle regulation and cell growth inhibition. Moreover, all three Rb family members display suppressive activities, which result in cell cycle G1 phase blocking. It has been suggested that alterations in genes controlling cell cycle probably contribute to Burkitt’s lymphoma pathogenesis, in association to the 8:14 translocation that leads to c-myc protein up regulation. Mutations in tumor suppressor gene RB2/p130 were detected in cell lines and primary tumors of patients with endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma (eBL). In addition, RB2/p130 mutational inactivation has been reported as a common feature in lung and nasopharyngeal carcinomas. RB2/p130 gene mutation screening was performed in 26 BL tumor pediatric samples and in mononuclear cells from 2 healthy blood donors by single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis. Exons 19, 20, 21 and 22 were amplified separately and denatured PCR products were heated at 95°C for 5 min, chilled on ice, and immediately electrophoresed in a native 10% polyacrilamide gel, with or without the addition of glycerol at 80 volts for 20–26 hours, and silver stained. In this series, 26 children were diagnosed as BL according to histopathologic and clinical criteria. The median age was 4.5 years (range: 2 to 9 years). There were 7 females and 19 males. According to the St Jude system 19% of patients had stage I/II and 81% stage III/IV disease. Burkitt’s lymphoma HIV-associated was diagnosed only in 2 patients. All four exons (19–22) were analyzed by PCR-SSCP. No changes were found upon SSCP analysis. Our results suggest that mutations in exons 19–22 of the RB2/p130 are unlikely to be involved directly in the pathogenesis of Brazilian BL. In conclusion, the characterization of tumor cells continues to emphasize the important role of Rb gene in tumor suppression but the evidence linking p107 or p130 inactivation to tumor development remains limited and controversial in Burkitt’s lymphomas and other malignant tumors.

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