Journal Article

Elevated expression and altered pattern of activity of DNA methyltransferase in liver tumors of rats fed methyl-deficient diets.

N G Lopatina, B F Vanyushin, G M Cronin and L A Poirier

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 10, pages 1777-1781
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.10.1777
Elevated expression and altered pattern of activity of DNA methyltransferase in liver tumors of rats fed methyl-deficient diets.

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DNA methyltransferase (MTase) activity in nuclear extracts from neoplastic and preneoplastic livers of rats fed a methyl-deficient diet (MDD) is elevated compared with that seen in the livers of control rats. Nuclear proteins were prepared in the presence of protease inhibitors including trans-epoxy succinyl-L-leucylamido-(4-guanido)butane and were fractionated by isoelectric focusing. In normal, control liver, two distinct MTase fractions were observed. In MDD-induced malignant liver, a third fraction, in addition to the previous two, was also seen. Both the DNA substrate and the cytosine site specificities of the third MTase fraction differ from those of the other two fractions. The distinct MTase activity in liver tumor has significantly more de novo MTase activity than do the MTase fractions of normal, control liver. Thus, normal and neoplastic rat livers differ in DNA MTase fractionation patterns and site specificities. The altered DNA MTase activity observed in rat liver tumors caused by MDDs may be one of the critical factors contributing to cancer formation through abnormal DNA methylation.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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