Alkyltransferase transgenic mice: probes of chemical carcinogenesis.
AffiliationDepartment of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-4937.
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AbstractTransgenic mice expressing DNA-repair genes are an instructive model with which to study the protective role of DNA-repair pathways in both spontaneous and chemical carcinogenesis. Of particular interest in chemical carcinogenesis is the DNA-repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (alkyltransferase) which repairs O6-alkylguanine-DNA adducts. Transgenic mice carrying expression constructs for the alkyltransferase gene--either the human MGMT cDNA or the bacterial ada gene--express increased levels of alkyltransferase and have increased capacity to remove O6-methylguanine-DNA adducts. Protection from the DNA damaging effects of N-nitroso compounds occurs specifically in the cells and tissues in which the alkyltransferase transgene is expressed. For instance, mice carrying the PEPCKada construct have increased alkyltransferase in the liver and more rapid removal of O6methylguanine-DNA adducts. The protective effect is noted in hepatocytes, which express PEPCK-linked genes, not in nonparenchymal cells of the liver, which do not. Other tissues that express the transgene in the various models include the thymus, spleen, testes, muscle, stomach and brain. Mice expressing the human alkyltransferase in the thymus have a reduced incidence of thymic lymphomas following exposure to methyl nitrosourea (MNU), evidence of a role for this DNA-repair protein in protection from carcinogenesis due to N-nitroso compounds. Protection has also been observed in the induction of hepatic tumors by N-nitroso-dimethylamine (NDMA). These models will be used to identify whether overexpression of a single DNA-repair gene can block the carcinogenic process of N-nitroso compounds in many different tissues.
CitationAlkyltransferase transgenic mice: probes of chemical carcinogenesis. 1994, 307 (2):541-55 Mutat. Res.
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- Authors: Liu L, Allay E, Dumenco LL, Gerson SL
- Issue date: 1994 Sep 1
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