Journal Article

Induction of mutations in Ki-ras and INK4a in liver tumors of mice exposed in utero to 3-methylcholanthrene.

K M Gressani, L A Rollins, S Leone-Kabler, J M Cline and M S Miller

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 6, pages 1045-1052
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.6.1045
Induction of mutations in Ki-ras and INK4a in liver tumors of mice exposed in utero to 3-methylcholanthrene.

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An understanding of the basic mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of liver neoplasms is needed in order to develop better therapeutic strategies. The present study utilized a pharmacogenetic mouse model to assess the role of cytochrome P4501A1 (Cyp1a1) in modulating genetic damage to oncogenic and tumor suppressor loci following in utero exposure to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, 3-methylcholanthrene (MC). Analysis of the Ha-ras, Ki-ras, INK4a and p53 genes was carried out with lysates from paraffin-embedded liver tissue from transplacentally-treated mice. The lysates were subjected to DNA amplification by the PCR technique followed by allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization screening and SSCP analysis. All of the 26 neoplasms screened (23 hepatocellular carcinomas, two hepatocellular adenomas and one sarcoma) exhibited a GGC-->CGC (GLY13-->ARG13) transversion at the Ki-ras gene locus. None of the tumors had Ki-ras mutations at codon 12 of exon 1. Approximately 12% (3/26) of the liver tumors exhibited point mutations in exon 1 of the INK4a gene, with each of the three tumors exhibiting two point mutations. Analysis of exon 2 of the INK4a gene showed the presence of a CCG-->CTG (PRO73-->LEU73) transition in two of the 26 neoplasms. No mutations were found in exons 1 or 2 of the Ha-ras gene, or in exons 5-8 of the p53 gene. Analysis of tumor RNAs showed overexpression of Ha-ras, cip1 and c-jun in approximately 38% of the liver tumor samples. The results of this study suggest that mutagenic damage to oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes may be critical factors in mediating transplacentally-induced liver tumorigenesis. The fact that Ki-ras mutations were found in all of the tumors suggests that mutation at this gene locus may be an early event in liver tumor pathogenesis, while mutation in tumor suppressor genes may occur later during tumor progression. These combined results are consistent with the pathogenesis of cancer in humans.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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