Assaying potential carcinogens with Drosophila. (1/274)

Drosophila offers many advantages for the detection of mutagenic activity of carcinogenic agents. It provides the quickest assay system for detecting mutations in animals today. Its generation time is short, and Drosophila is cheap and easy to breed in large numbers. The simple genetic testing methods give unequivocal answers about the whole spectrum of relevant genetic damage. A comparison of the detection capacity of assays sampling different kinds of genetic damage revealed that various substances are highly effective in inducing mutations but do not produce chromosome breakage effects at all, or only at much higher concentrations than those required for mutation induction. Of the different assay systems available, the classical sex-linked recessive lethal test deserves priority, in view of its superior capacity to detect mutagens. Of practical importance is also its high sensitivity, because a large number of loci in one fifth of the genome is tested for newly induced forward mutations, including small deletions. The recent findings that Drosophila is capable of carrying out the same metabolic activation reactions as the mammalian liver makes the organism eminently suitable for verifying results obtained in prescreening with fast microbial assay systems. An additional advantage in this respect is the capacity of Drosophila for detecting short-lived activation products, because intracellular metabolic activation appears to occur within the spermatids and spermatocytes.  (+info)

Inhibition of DNA replicon initiation by 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide, adriamycin, and ethyleneimine. (2/274)

The effects of three widely differing chemical carcinogens, 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide, Adriamycin, and ethyleneimine, on DNA replication were studied by pulse labeling of DNA with [3H]thymidine and sedimentation analysis with alkaline sucrose gradients. At doses that reduced the rate of DNA synthesis to 30 to 60% of control values, only ethyleneimine produced damage that resulted in lower molecular weights of parental DNA. All three chemicals inhibited replicon initiation, but to differing extents. Inhibition of replicon initiation was the first clearly identified effect of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide and was the main cause of inhibition of DNA synthesis. Ethyleneimine caused severe inhibition of replicon initiation, but blocks to chain elongation also contributed significantly to the inhibition of overall DNA synthesis. Adriamycin affected replicon initiation to a small but significant extent; the primary cause of inhibition of DNA synthesis by this drug was a slowing of the rate of chain elongation. These results indicate that inhibition of replicon initiation is an important mechanism for the action of DNA-damaging agents in mammalian cells and strengthen the concept that control of DNA replication depends on the structural integrity of a chromosomal subunit that consists of several replicons.  (+info)

Virus directed enzyme prodrug therapy for ovarian and pancreatic cancer using retrovirally delivered E. coli nitroreductase and CB1954. (3/274)

Expression of the E. coli enzyme nitroreductase (NTR) in tumour cells enables them to activate the prodrug CB1954 (5-(aziridin-1-yl)-2,4-dinitrobenzamide), leading to interstrand DNA crosslinking and cell death. Using transfected or retrovirally transduced SKOV3 ovarian carcinoma cell clones, we show a strong correlation between sensitivity to CB1954 and level of NTR enzyme activity. Importantly for clinical application in ovarian cancer, a cisplatin-resistant ovarian tumour cell line remains as susceptible to the NTR-dependent cytotoxicity of CB1954 as parental cells. In mixed populations of NTR-expressing and non-expressing cells, we observe a marked 'bystander killing' effect with this system. The use of NTR-encoding retroviruses from clonal producer cell lines at titres of 5 x 10(5) c.f.u./ml to transduce either established or low passage primary ovarian carcinoma lines only achieves an average 10-fold sensitisation of the cultures at gene transfer efficiencies of 15-25%. Concentration of the retrovirus to 3 x 10(7) c.f.u./ml elevates gene transfer to 80-90% in a single exposure to target cells, resulting in up to 500-fold sensitisation of the entire, unselected SKOV3 population to CB1954. In an initial investigation of NTR/CB1954 for the treatment of tumours in vivo, we observe regression of tumours expressing NTR following administration of CB1954, resulting in significantly increased median survival.  (+info)

Spermine inhibition of the 2,5-diaziridinyl-1,4-benzoquinone (DZQ) crosslinking reaction with DNA duplexes containing poly(purine). poly(pyrimidine) tracts. (4/274)

Upon reduction, 2,5-diaziridinyl-1,4-benzoquinone (DZQ) can form an interstrand guanine to guanine crosslink with DNA duplexes containing a d(GC).d(GC) dinucleotide step. The reaction is enhanced by a thymine positioned 5[prime] to each guanine [i.e. in a d(TGCA). d(TGCA) duplex fragment]. Here we show that spermine can inhibit DZQ crosslink formation in duplexes of sequence d[C(N6)TGCA(M6)C]. d[G(M[prime]6)TG-CA(N[prime]6)G]. For N6= M6= GGGGGG, N6= M6= a 'random' sequence and N6= GGGGGG and M6= a 'random' sequence, spermine concentrations of 20, 1 and 3 microM, respectively, were required for 50% inhibition of the DZQ crosslink. This suggests that spermine is more strongly bound to the polyguanosine tract than the random sequence, making it less available for crosslink inhibition. When the polyguanosine tract is interrupted by N 7-deazaguanine (D) located three bases, d(CGGGDGGTGCAGGDGGGC), and four bases, d(CG-GDGGGTGCAGGGDGGC), from the d(TGCA).d(TGCA) site, 30 and 3 microM spermine, respectively, were required for 50% crosslink inhibition. We suggest that this difference is due to the relative proximity of the three-guanosine tract to the d(TGCA).d(TGCA) site. We were able to confirm these conclusions with further experiments using duplexes containing three-guanosine and two-guanosine tracts and from computer simulations of the spermine-DNA complexes.  (+info)

Occupational asthma and contact dermatitis in a spray painter after introduction of an aziridine cross-linker. (5/274)

A 23-year-old spray painter developed contact dermatitis and respiratory difficulty characterized by small airways obstruction shortly after the polyfunctional aziridine cross-linker CX-100 began to be used in his workplace as a paint activator. The symptoms resolved after he was removed from the workplace and was treated with inhaled and topical steroids. Painters may have an increased risk of asthma due to exposure to a variety of agents, such as isocyanates, alkyd resins, and chromates. This case illustrates the importance of using appropriate work practices and personal protective equipment to minimize exposure. Occupational asthma is diagnosed by a history of work-related symptoms and exposure to known causative agents. The diagnosis is confirmed by serial pulmonary function testing or inhalational challenge testing. The risk of asthma attributable to occupational exposures is probably underappreciated due to underreporting and to inappropriate use of narrow definitions of exposure in epidemiologic studies of attributable risk.  (+info)

Molecular characterization of binding of substrates and inhibitors to DT-diaphorase: combined approach involving site-directed mutagenesis, inhibitor-binding analysis, and computer modeling. (6/274)

The molecular basis of the interaction of DT-diaphorase with a cytotoxic nitrobenzamide CB1954 [5-(aziridin-1-yl)-2, 4-dinitrobenzamide] and five inhibitors was investigated with wild-type DT-diaphorase (human and rat) and five mutants [three rat mutants (rY128D, rG150V, rH194D) and two human mutants (hY155F, hH161Q)]. hY155F and hH161Q were generated to evaluate a hypothesis that Tyr155 and His161 participate in the obligatory two-electron transfer reaction of the enzyme. The catalytic properties of hY155F and hH161Q were compared with a naturally occurring mutant, hP187S. Pro187 to Ser mutation disturbs the structure of the central parallel beta-sheet, resulting in a reduction of the binding affinity of the flavin-adenine dinucleotide prosthetic group. With NADH as the electron donor and menadione as the electron acceptor, the k(cat) values for the wild-type human DT-diaphorase, hY155F, hH161Q, and hP187S were measured as 66 +/- 1, 23 +/- 0, 5 +/- 0 and 8 +/- 2 x 10(3) min(-1), respectively. Because hY155F still has significant catalytic activity, the hydroxyl group on Tyr155 may not be as important as proposed. Interestingly, hY155F was found to be 3. 3 times more active than the human wild-type DT-diaphorase in the reduction of CB1954. Computer modeling based on our results suggests that CB1954 is situated in the active site, with the aziridinyl group pointing toward Tyr155 and the amide group placed near a hydrophobic pocket next to Tyr128. Dicoumarol, Cibacron blue, chrysin, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, and phenindone are competitive inhibitors of the enzyme with respect to nicotinamide coenzymes. The binding orientations of dicoumarol, flavones, and phenindone in the active site of DT-diaphorase were predicted by results from our inhibitor-binding studies and computer modeling based on published X-ray structures. Our studies generated results that explain why dicoumarol is a potent inhibitor and binds differently from flavones and phenindone in the active site of DT-diaphorase.  (+info)

Effects of aluminum potassium sulfate on learning, memory, and cholinergic system in mice. (7/274)

AIM: To study the relationship between aluminum potassium sulfate (APS) and memory deficits of mice. METHODS: 30, 60, or 90 d after the mice were given daily APS i.g., the step-through latency (STL) was determined with a passive avoidance task. Aluminum (Al) contents in brain and blood were assayed with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Acetylcholine (ACh) content in brain was determined with chemiluminescent method and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity was measured radiochemically. RESULTS: APS 1 increased blood-Al only after 30 d. After 60 d, STL, ACh content and ChAT activity decreased by 46.4%, 8.5%, and 22.6%, respectively. These parameters decreased by 50%, 11.1%, and 27.8%, respectively, with increased Al in blood and brain, after 90 d. APS 0.25 had no effects on mice except blood-Al. In ethylcholine mustard aziridium chloride (AF64A) treated mice, APS 1 only increased blood and brain-Al. CONCLUSION: The intake of APS 1 for 60 d induced learning and memory deficits in mice.  (+info)

Nitroreductase-mediated cell ablation is very rapid and mediated by a p53-independent apoptotic pathway. (8/274)

Nitroreductase (NTR)-mediated selective cell ablation using the prodrug CB1954 has been achieved in vivo by targeting the nitroreductase gene to the luminal cells of the mammary gland in transgenic mice. We report that the cell ablation occurs very rapidly, starting as early as 7 h after administration of the prodrug. By cross-breeding the BLG-NTR transgenic mice to a p53-deficient mouse strain, we have generated BLG-NTR transgenic mice on a p53 null background and tested NTR-mediated cell ablation in these mice. The transgenic mice lacking a functional p53 gene showed cell ablation at a similar level compared with p53 wild-type transgenic mice, showing that functional p53 is not required for CB1954-NTR mediated cell death. These results provide further support for using this system in anti-cancer therapy.  (+info)