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Journal of Medical Sciences

Year: 2006  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 906 - 914

Segregation Analysis of p53, c-myc and DNA Ploidy Using Flow Cytometry Among Egyptian Families with Childhood Leukemia

Mohammad S. Al-Haggar, Ahmad A. Settin, Mohamed Ragab, May Al-Shahat, Hisham Abdel-Hadi, El-Shahat Toson, Mona A. Samy, Rabab Abu Al-Kasem, Soheir Yahya and Zakaria Al-Morsy


The present study aimed to check for segregation of some oncogenic markers (p53, c-myc) and DNA ploidy pattern in Egyptian families of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to determine whether there is an actual risk for cancer among these families. This case-controlled study included 20 Egyptian children with ALL, their median age 6.5 years (interquartiles 2.1-12.5) with males/females 16/4. They were enrolled at presentation to Haematology-Oncology Unit of Mansoura University Children`s Hospital, Egypt. The study included also their first-degree relatives (20 fathers, 20 mothers, 44 healthy sibs) and control group; 20 healthy subjects with median age 6.9 years (interquartiles 3.2-13.1) and sure negative family history of cancer. Blood sampling was done for all persons followed by cell isolation for Flow Cytometric analysis (FCM) of DNA ploidy, apoptosis and other cell cycle parameters. p53 and c-myc protein expression were also assessed by FCM using monoclonal-antibody staining technique. p53 and c-myc showed significantly high values in cases compared to controls and relatives (p<0.001) with no difference between parents and sibs. Almost the same differences were noted for cell cycle parameters; G1 and G2M channels, but aneuploid cell% and DNA index showed no statistical differences between relatives and control. Likewise S-phase% lacked differences between relatives and control but significantly lowered in cases compared to relatives and controls. Mating between parents with high p53 and c-myc resulted in high levels in most affected offsprings and more than half of normal sibs. Aneuploid positivity among cases and sibs was segregating independently from parents. Segregation of p53, c-myc expression and DNA cycle parameters among families of ALL children illustrates a semi-dominant inheritance indicating the presence of an underlying genetic and/or environmental factor(s) supporting the theory of familial cancer risk.

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