Journal Article

Carcinogenesis in mouse and human cells: parallels and paradoxes

Allan Balmain and Curtis C.Harris

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 371-377
Published in print March 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Carcinogenesis in mouse and human cells: parallels and paradoxes

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It has been known since the last century that genetic changes are important in carcinogenesis [Boveri,T. (1914) Zur Frage der Erstehung Maligner Tumoren. Gustav Fischer, Jena]. Observations of tumor cells growing in tissue culture led to the prediction, even before the true nature of the genetic material was known, that alterations at the chromosomal level were critically involved in the process of neoplastic development. The past 20 years have seen the transition of carcinogenesis studies from the purely observational to the molecular genetic level. Although much more needs to be done, it is nevertheless gratifying to be able to piece together the sequence of events from carcinogen exposure, metabolism of the carcinogen to the activated form, formation of specific carcinogen–DNA adducts, misrepair leading to the fixation of mutations in particular target genes, and the resulting selective outgrowth of neoplastic cells. The nature of many of these steps has been clarified only in the relatively recent past, and only for a small number of specific target genes, but the fact that we can say with confidence that such processes occur and are causal changes in tumorigenesis represents a tremendous advance over the situation pertaining 20 years ago. The purpose of this review is to summarize the advances over this time period in our understanding of some of the genetic alterations that contribute to neoplasia, with particular emphasis on chemical carcinogenesis in rodents and the parallels with transformation of human cells.

Keywords: AFB1, aflatoxin B1; B[a]P, benzo[a]pyrene; DMBA, dimethylbenzanthracene.

Journal Article.  7035 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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