(1/3817) Assaying potential carcinogens with Drosophila.

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)

(2/3817) Carcinogenicity of triethanolamine in mice and its mutagenicity after reaction with sodium nitrite in bacteria.

Mice fed a diet containing 0.3 or 0.03% triethanolamine developed malignant tumors. Females showed a high incidence of tumors in lymphoid tissues, while this type was absent in males. Tumors in other tissues were produced at a considerable rate in both sexes, but no hepatoma was found. Triethanolamine was not mutagenic to Bacillus subtilis by itself, but it became mutagenic after reacting with sodium nitrite under acidic conditions or when the mixture was heated. Although N-nitrosodiethanolamine, a known carcinogen and mutagen, was detected in the reaction mixture by thin-layer chromatography, it may not be the main mutagenic product, because the product was a stable and direct mutagen and its mutagenic activity was destroyed by liver enzymes, unlike N-nitrosodiethanolamine. The lethal and mutagenic DNA damages produced by this unidentified product were susceptible to some extent to the repair functions of the bacteria.  (+info)

(3/3817) Phosphorylation of the DNA repair protein APE/REF-1 by CKII affects redox regulation of AP-1.

The DNA repair protein apurinic endonuclease (APE/Ref-1) exerts several physiological functions such as cleavage of apurinic/apyrimidinic sites and redox regulation of the transcription factor AP-1, whose activation is part of the cellular response to DNA damaging treatments. Here we demonstrate that APE/Ref-1 is phosphorylated by casein kinase II (CKII). This was shown for both the recombinant APE/Ref-1 protein (Km=0.55 mM) and for APE/Ref-1 expressed in COS cells. Phosphorylation of APE/Ref-1 did not alter the repair activity of the enzyme, whereas it stimulated its redox capability towards AP-1, thus promoting DNA binding activity of AP-1. Inhibition of CKII mediated phosphorylation of APE/Ref-1 blocked mutagen-stimulated increase in AP-1 binding. It also abrogated the induction of c-Jun protein and rendered cells more sensitive to induced DNA damage. Thus, phosphorylation of APE/Ref-1 appears to be involved in regulating the different physiological activities of the enzyme. CKII mediated phosphorylation of APE/Ref-1 and concomitant increase in AP-1 binding activity appears to be a novel mechanism of cellular stress response, forcing transcription of AP-1 target gene(s) the product(s) of which may exert protective function.  (+info)

(4/3817) Telomeric repeats on small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) and genomic instability.

Small polydisperse circular DNA (spcDNA) is a heterogeneous population of extrachromosomal circular molecules present in a large variety of eukaryotic cells. Elevated amounts of total spcDNA are related to endogenous and induced genomic instability in rodent and human cells. We suggested spcDNA as a novel marker for genomic instability, and speculated that spcDNA might serve as a mutator. In this study, we examine the presence of telomeric sequences on spcDNA. We report for the first time the appearance of telomeric repeats in spcDNA molecules (tel-spcDNA) in rodent and human cells. Restriction enzyme analysis indicates that tel-spcDNA molecules harbor mostly, if not exclusively, telomeric repeats. In rodent cells, tel-spcDNA levels are higher in transformed than in normal cells and are enhanced by treatment with carcinogen. Tel-spcDNA is also detected in some human tumors and cell lines, but not in others. We suggest, that its levels in human cells may be primarily related to the amount of the chromosomal telomeric sequences. Tel-spcDNA may serve as a unique mutator, through specific mechanisms related to the telomeric repeats, which distinguish it from the total heterogeneous spcDNA population. It may affect telomere dynamics and genomic instability by clastogenic events, alterations of telomere size and sequestration of telomeric proteins.  (+info)

(5/3817) The effect of cotinine or cigarette smoke co-administration on the formation of O6-methylguanine adducts in the lung and liver of A/J mice treated with 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)

4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), a tobacco-specific nitrosamine, induces lung adenomas in A/J mice, following a single intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection. However, inhalation of tobacco smoke has not induced or promoted tumors in these mice. NNK-induced lung tumorigenesis is thought to involve O6-methylguanine (O6MeG) formation, leading to GC-->AT transitional mispairing and an activation of the K-ras proto-oncogene in the A/J mouse. NNK can be metabolized by several different cytochromes P450, resulting in a number of metabolites. Formation of the promutagenic DNA adduct O6MeG is believed to require metabolic activation of NNK by cytochrome P450-mediated alpha-hydroxylation of the methylene group adjacent to the N-nitroso nitrogen to yield the unstable intermediate, methanediazohydroxide. Nicotine, cotinine (the major metabolite of nicotine), and aqueous cigarette tar extract (ACTE) have all been shown to effectively inhibit metabolic activation of NNK to its mutagenic form, most likely due to competitive inhibition of the cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in alpha-hydroxylation of NNK. The objective of the current study was to monitor the effects of cotinine and cigarette smoke (CS) on the formation of O6MeG in target tissues of mice during the acute phase of NNK treatment. To test the effect of cotinine, mature female A/J mice received a single intraperitoneal injection of NNK (0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, or 10 mumole/mouse) with cotinine administered at a total dose of 50 mumole/mouse in 3 separate i.p. injections, administered 30 min before, immediately after, and 30 min after NNK treatment. To test the effect of whole smoke exposure on NNK-related O6MeG formation, mice were exposed to smoke generated from Kentucky 1R4F reference cigarettes at 0, 0.4, 0.6, or 0.8 mg wet total particulate matter/liter (WTPM/L) for 2 h, with a single i.p. injection of NNK (0, 3.75, or 7.5 mumole/mouse) midway through the exposure. Cigarette smoke alone failed to yield detectable levels of O6MeG. The number of O6MeG adducts following i.p. injection of NNK was significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in both lung and liver by cotinine and by cigarette smoke exposure. Our results demonstrate that NNK-induced O6MeG DNA adducts in A/J mice are significantly reduced when NNK is administered together with either cotinine, the major metabolite of nicotine, or the parental complex mixture, cigarette smoke.  (+info)

(6/3817) Direct selection for mutators in Escherichia coli.

We have constructed strains that allow a direct selection for mutators of Escherichia coli on a single plate medium. The plate selection is based on using two different markers whose reversion is enhanced by a given mutator. Plates containing limiting amounts of each respective nutrient allow the growth of ghost colonies or microcolonies that give rise to full-size colonies only if a reversion event occurs. Because two successive mutational events are required, mutator cells are favored to generate full-size colonies. Reversion of a third marker allows direct visualization of the mutator phenotype by the large number of blue papillae in the full-size colonies. We also describe plate selections involving three successive nutrient markers followed by a fourth papillation step. Different frameshift or base substitution mutations are used to select for mismatch-repair-defective strains (mutHLS and uvrD). We can detect and monitor mutator cells arising spontaneously, at frequencies lower than 10(-5) in the population. Also, we can measure a mutator cascade, in which one type of mutator (mutT) generates a second mutator (mutHLS) that then allows stepwise frameshift mutations. We discuss the relevance of mutators arising on a single medium as a result of cells overcoming successive growth barriers to the development and progression of cancerous tumors, some of which are mutator cell lines.  (+info)

(7/3817) Reverse genetic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans presenilins reveals redundant but unequal roles for sel-12 and hop-1 in Notch-pathway signaling.

Mutations in the human presenilin genes PS1 and PS2 cause early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mice indicate that one function of presenilin genes is to facilitate Notch-pathway signaling. Notably, mutations in the C. elegans presenilin gene sel-12 reduce signaling through an activated version of the Notch receptor LIN-12. To investigate the function of a second C. elegans presenilin gene hop-1 and to examine possible genetic interactions between hop-1 and sel-12, we used a reverse genetic strategy to isolate deletion alleles of both loci. Animals bearing both hop-1 and sel-12 deletions displayed new phenotypes not observed in animals bearing either single deletion. These new phenotypes-germ-line proliferation defects, maternal-effect embryonic lethality, and somatic gonad defects-resemble those resulting from a reduction in signaling through the C. elegans Notch receptors GLP-1 and LIN-12. Thus SEL-12 and HOP-1 appear to function redundantly in promoting Notch-pathway signaling. Phenotypic analyses of hop-1 and sel-12 single and double mutant animals suggest that sel-12 provides more presenilin function than does hop-1.  (+info)

(8/3817) Functional analysis of the promoter of the yeast SNQ2 gene encoding a multidrug resistance transporter that confers the resistance to 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide.

The yeast gene SNQ2, which encodes a multidrug resistance ABC superfamily protein, is required for resistance to the mutagen 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide (4-NQO). The expression of the SNQ2 gene is under the control of a regulatory network that involves the transcription factor Yrr1p, as well as Pdr1p/Pdr3p (Cui et al., Mol. Microbiol., 29, 1307-1315 (1998)). By 5'-deletion analysis of the promoter by using SNQ2-lacZ fusion constructs, four regions: -745 to -639 (region I), -639 to -578 (region II), -548 to -533 (region III) and -533 to -485 (region IV) were found to be important for SNQ2 expression. Genetic analysis suggested that the site in region IV was responsible for the Yrr1p-mediated SNQ2 expression. A consensus motif known for the binding of Pdr1p/Pdr3p (PDRE) was not found in region IV.  (+info)