pRb/p105, p107, and pRb2/p130 compose the retinoblastoma (RB) family of proteins and regulate cellular growth and differentiation. Because recent functional studies have indicated that the expression of the RB-related proteins p107 and pRb2/p130 are tightly cell cycle regulated, we were interested in investigating their expression along with cellular kinetic characteristics and proliferative features of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs). p107 and pRb2/p130 expression was determined immunohistochemically in biopsy specimens from 83 untreated patients with NHLs of various histiotypes. The expression of these two RB-related proteins was correlated with the mitotic index, apoptotic index, and percentages of Ki-67(+), cyclin A(+), p34(+), and cyclin B(-t-) cells. The overall survival rate was evaluated according to the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test. We found a positive correlation between the percentages of cells positive for p107 and proliferative features such as mitotic index and percentage of Ki-67(+) and cyclin A(+) cells, whereas such correlation could not be demonstrated for the percentages of pRb2/p130 positive cells. Low immunohistochemical levels of pRb2/p130 detected in untreated patients with NHLs of various histiotypes inversely correlated with a large fraction of cells expressing high levels of p107 and proliferation-associated proteins. Such a pattern of protein expression is normally observed in continuously cycling cells. Interestingly; such cases showed the highest survival percentage (82.5%) after the observation period of 10 years. Thus, down-regulation of the RB-related pRb2/p130 protein could be one of the reasons why these cases display such a high rate of proliferation and why they respond so well to therapy.
Retinoblastoma-related p107 and pRb2/p130 proteins in malignant lymphomas: Distinct mechanisms of cell growth control / Leoncini, L.; Bellan, C.; Cossu, A.; Claudio, P. P.; Lazzi, S.; Cinti, C.; Cevenini, G.; Megha, T.; Laurini, L.; Luzi, P.; Orcioni, G. F.; Piccioli, M.; Pileri, S.; Giardino, C.; Tosi, P.; Giordano, A.. - In: CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH. - ISSN 1078-0432. - 5:12(1999), pp. 4065-4072.