Journal Article

Attenuation of G1 checkpoint function by the non-genotoxic carcinogen phenobarbital.

A J Gonzales, J G Christensen, R J Preston, T L Goldsworthy, T D Tlsty and T R Fox

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 7, pages 1173-1183
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Attenuation of G1 checkpoint function by the non-genotoxic carcinogen phenobarbital.

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Non-genotoxic chemical carcinogens are capable of inducing tumors in rodents without interacting with or directly altering the genetic material. Since a preponderance of evidence suggests that cancer results from the accumulation of genetic alterations, the mechanisms by which many non-genotoxic carcinogens induce genotoxic events remain unclear. The present study investigated whether the mitogenic, non-genotoxic carcinogen phenobarbital (PB) could alter cell-cycle checkpoint controls, thereby indirectly leading to the accumulation of genetic damage. Initial studies involved characterizing cell-cycle checkpoint responses to DNA damage in freshly isolated B6C3F1 mouse hepatocytes. These cells responded to bleomycin-induced DNA damage by arresting in G1 and G2. Cell-cycle arrest was coupled with p53 protein induction; however, p21WAF1 protein levels remained unchanged. Studies that utilized hepatocytes isolated from C57BL p53-/- mice showed that the DNA damage-induced G1 cell-cycle arrest was dependent on p53 function, but cell-cycle arrest in G2 was not affected by loss of p53. PB was able to delay and attenuate the G1 checkpoint response without altering G2 checkpoint function. A reduction in p53 protein, but not transcript levels, was observed in hepatocytes exposed to PB. Additionally, PB delayed and attenuated p53 protein induction during DNA damage, which suggests that changes in the p53 protein may be contributing to the attenuated G1 checkpoint response caused by PB. Altered G1 checkpoint function represents an epigenetic mechanism by which phenobarbital may prevent the detection and repair of DNA damage and indirectly increase the frequency of genotoxic events above that occurring spontaneously. Abrogation of checkpoint controls may, thus, play an important mechanistic role in mitogenic, non-genotoxic chemical carcinogenesis.

Keywords: Non-programmatic

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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