Prenatal toxicity and lack of carcinogenicity of 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) following transplacental exposure. (65/865)

Accumulating evidence from human and experimental animal studies indicates that consumption of heterocyclic amines (HA), derived from cooked meat and fish, may be associated with an increased incidence of cancer. Experiments were initiated to assess the role of one of these compounds, 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), as a potential transplacental carcinogen, as well as to evaluate whether in utero exposure to IQ results in the induction of fetal cytochrome P4501A1 (Cyp1a1), P4501B1 (Cyp1b1), and/or glutathione S-transferase (GST). Inducible, or responsive, backcrossed fetuses resulting from a cross between congenic C57BL/6 (Ah(d)Ah(d)) nonresponsive female mice and C57BL/6 (Ah(b)Ah(b)) responsive male mice were transplacentally exposed to olive oil or 6.25, 12.5, or 25 mg/kg of IQ on day 17 of gestation. No macroscopically or microscopically visible liver, lung, or colon tumors were found in the transplacentally treated offspring by one year after birth. Ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) and 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene assays were performed to evaluate whether transplacental exposure to IQ results in the induction of fetal Cyp1a1 and GST, respectively, in lung and liver tissues. Results showed levels of EROD and GST activity in tissues of IQ-treated mice to be very close, if not identical, to those of mice treated with olive oil. Similarly, ribonuclease protection assay data showed that the levels of Cyp1a1 and Cyp1b1 RNA in tissues of IQ-treated mice were not significantly different from those of oil-treated controls. Previous studies have shown that the developing organism expresses very low levels of Cyp1a2. Thus, in utero exposure to IQ does not lead to induction of Cyp1a1, Cyp1a2, or Cyp1b1 in the fetal compartment, thereby maintaining the low levels of these activating enzymes in the developing organism. Taken together, these data imply that, at least under the conditions employed for these experiments, IQ may not play an important role in transplacentally induced tumorigenesis.  (+info)

Bioassays of shortened duration for drugs: statistical implications. (66/865)

Declining survival rates in rodent carcinogenesis bioassays have raised a concern that continuing the practice of terminating such studies at 24 months could result in too few live animals at termination for adequate pathological evaluation. One option for ensuring sufficient numbers of animals at the terminal sacrifice is to shorten the duration of the bioassay, but this approach is accompanied by a reduction in statistical power for detecting carcinogenic potential. The present study was conducted to evaluate the loss of power associated with early termination. Data from drug studies in rats were used to formulate biologically based dose-response models of carcinogenesis using the 2-stage clonal expansion model as a context. These dose-response models, which were chosen to represent 6 variations of the initiation-promotion-completion cancer model, were employed to generate a large number of representative bioassay data sets using Monte Carlo simulation techniques. For a variety of tumor dose-response trends, tumor lethality, and competing risk-survival rates, the power of age-adjusted statistical tests to assess the significance of carcinogenic potential was evaluated at 18 and 21 months, and compared to the power at the normal 24-month stopping time. The results showed that stopping at 18 months would reduce power to an unacceptable level for all 6 submodels of the 2-stage clonal expansion model, with the pure-promoter and pure-completer models being most adversely affected. For the 21-month stopping time, the results showed that, unless pure promotion can be ruled out a priori as a potential carcinogenic mode of action, the loss of power is too great to warrant early stopping.  (+info)

Industry viewpoint on thresholds for genotoxic carcinogens. (67/865)

Modern chemical control of pests has contributed to a dramatic improvement in public welfare since its introduction 50 years ago. Millions of lives have been saved through the control of disease vectors, and millions more have been improved by the use of chemicals to produce an inexpensive and abundant food supply. Hundreds of pesticidally active ingredients are in commercial use today, and among these are found genotoxic and nongenotoxic carcinogens. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates carcinogens using threshold and nonthreshold approaches depending upon the outcome of a weight-of-evidence determination. More than one-half of all pesticides with some evidence of carcinogenic potential are regulated by the nonthreshold approach. The limitations on product use imposed by this approach have restricted the number of products available to growers and to the public. This restriction has had a direct impact on industry with respect to commercial success and financial returns on investment as well as an indirect impact on the industry's ability to fund the discovery and development of new compounds. This paper explores the question of how well regulation by the nonthreshold approach has achieved the goal of protecting public health, whether it does this better than the alternative use of the threshold approach, and whether the incremental protection it affords is a meaningful public benefit that justifies the aforementioned impacts on industry.  (+info)

Use of transgenic animals for carcinogenicity testing: considerations and implications for risk assessment. (68/865)

Advances in genetic engineering have created opportunities for improved understanding of the molecular basis of carcinogenesis. Through selective introduction, activation, and inactivation of specific genes, investigators can produce mice of unique genotypes and phenotypes that afford insights into the events and mechanisms responsible for tumor formation. It has been suggested that such animals might be used for routine testing of chemicals to determine their carcinogenic potential because the animals may be mechanistically relevant for understanding and predicting the human response to exposure to the chemical being tested. Before transgenic and knockout mice can be used as an adjunct or alternative to the conventional 2-year rodent bioassay, information related to the animal line to be used, study design, and data analysis and interpretation must be carefully considered. Here, we identify and review such information relative to Tg.AC and rasH2 transgenic mice and p53+/- and XPA-/- knockout mice, all of which have been proposed for use in chemical carcinogenicity testing. In addition, the implications of findings of tumors in transgenic and knockout animals when exposed to chemicals is discussed in the context of human health risk assessment.  (+info)

An engineered PAX3-KRAB transcriptional repressor inhibits the malignant phenotype of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells harboring the endogenous PAX3-FKHR oncogene. (69/865)

The t(2;13) chromosomal translocation in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma tumors (ARMS) creates an oncogenic transcriptional activator by fusion of PAX3 DNA binding motifs to a COOH-terminal activation domain derived from the FKHR gene. The dominant oncogenic potential of the PAX3-FKHR fusion protein is dependent on the FKHR activation domain. We have fused the KRAB repression module to the PAX3 DNA binding domain as a strategy to suppress the activity of the PAX3-FKHR oncogene. The PAX3-KRAB protein bound PAX3 target DNA sequences and repressed PAX3-dependent reporter plasmids. Stable expression of the PAX3-KRAB protein in ARMS cell lines resulted in loss of the ability of the cells to grow in low-serum or soft agar and to form tumors in SCID mice. Stable expression of a PAX3-KRAB mutant, which lacks repression function, or a KRAB protein alone, lacking a PAX3 DNA binding domain, failed to suppress the ARMS malignant phenotype. These data suggest that the PAX3-KRAB repressor functions as a DNA-binding-dependent suppressor of the transformed phenotype of ARMS cells, probably via competition with the endogenous PAX3-FKHR oncogene and repression of target genes required for ARMS tumorigenesis. The engineered repressor approach that directs a transcriptional repression domain to target genes deregulated by the PAX3-FKHR oncogene may be a useful strategy to identify the target genes critical for ARMS tumorigenesis.  (+info)

Evaluation of in vitro reporter gene induction assays for use in a rapid prescreen for compound selection to test specificity in the Tg.AC mouse short-term carcinogenicity assay. (70/865)

Under ICH guidelines, short-term carcinogenicity assays such as the Tg.AC assay are allowed alternatives for one species in the 2-year rodent bioassay. The Tg.AC transgenic mouse, which carries the v-Ha-ras oncogene under control of the zeta-globin promoter, develops skin papillomas in response to dermal application of carcinogens and tumor promoters. The appropriate specificity of the Tg.AC model for testing pharmaceuticals has not been systematically evaluated. The selection of candidate test compounds among noncarcinogenic pharmaceuticals would be aided by a high-throughput in vitro prescreen correlative of activity in the in vivo Tg.AC assay. Here we describe the development of a prescreen based on correct response to 24 compounds tested previously in Tg.AC mice. The in vitro prescreens, chosen to reflect molecular pathways possibly involved in Tg.AC papilloma formation, consisted of a zeta-globin promoter-luciferase construct stably expressed in K562 cells (Zeta-Luc) and three of the stress-response element-chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) fusion constructs stably expressed in HepG2 cells that are part of the CAT-Tox (L)iver assay. The stress response elements chosen were the c-fos promoter, the gadd153 promoter, and p53 response element repeats. Of the four assays, the gadd153-CAT assay showed the strongest concordance with activity in the Tg.AC assay, correctly classifying 78% of Tg.AC positive and 83% of Tg.AC negative compounds. The correlation was further improved by adding the Zeta-Luc assay as a second-stage screen. These cell-based assays will be used in a novel approach to selecting candidate compounds that challenge the specificity of the Tg.AC assay toward pharmaceuticals.  (+info)

Human endogenous retrovirus protein cORF supports cell transformation and associates with the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger protein. (71/865)

Human endogenous retrovirus sequences (HERVs) reside in the genomes of primates and humans for several million years. The majority of HERVs is non-coding but a limited set is intact and can express proteins. We have recently identified an almost intact HERV-K(HML-2) provirus on chromosome 7 and have documented that most patients with germ cell tumors (GCTs) display antibodies directed against proteins of HERV-K(HML-2). To address whether these proteins merely represent tumor markers or contribute to neoplastic transformation, we examined the transforming potential of various HERV sequences and studied physical interactions between HERV and cellular proteins by yeast two-hybrid and biochemical assays. cORF, a protein encoded by the C-terminal open reading frame within the env gene, supports tumor growth in nude mice and associates with the promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger protein (PLZF). The interaction domains map between amino acid residues 21 and 87 of cORF, and between residues 245 and 543 of PLZF. PLZF is critical for spermatogenesis in mice. Abnormal spermatogenesis or maturation of gonocytes is thought to predispose humans to the development of germ cell tumors. Thus, cORF of human endogenous retroviruses may contribute to tumor development by interfering with processes during spermatogenesis that involve PLZF.  (+info)

Human breast carcinoma desmoplasia is PDGF initiated. (72/865)

The desmoplastic response to human breast carcinoma is a host myofibroblast-mediated collagenous response exhibiting synergistic effects on tumor progression. Although many paracrine interactions between breast carcinoma cells and myofibroblasts have been characterized, the event(s) which initiate desmoplasia have remained undefined. Our studies utilized c-rasH transfected MCF-7 cells which overexpress ras p2l and which are weakly tumorigenic in ovariectomized nude mice. The xenografts are desmoplastic and comprised of 30% myofibroblasts and 60 mg/g of interstitial collagen. In situ hybridization studies of these xenografts reveal a stromal gene expression pattern (stromelysin-3, IGF-II and TIMP-1) identical to that observed in human tumor desmoplasia. 17-beta estradiol increases c-rasH MCF-7 growth but abolishes desmoplasia. c-rasH MCF-7 in vitro constitutively produce myofibroblast mitogenic activity which competes with PDGF in a receptor binding assay. This myofibroblast mitogenic activity is unaltered by 17-beta estradiol/tamoxifen pretreatment in vitro. Transfection of c-rasH MCF-7 with a PDGF-A dominant negative mutant, 1308, produced by site-directed mutagenesis (serine-->cysteine129) reduces both homo- and heterodimer secretion of PDGF by as much as 90% but does not interfere with the secretion of other growth factors. Clones with low PDGF, though tumorigenic, are non-desmoplastic. Our results suggest that breast carcinoma-secreted PDGF is the major initiator of tumor desmoplasia.  (+info)