Tumor spectrum in ARF-deficient mice.
The p19ARF product of the INK4a/ARF locus is induced in response to potentially oncogenic hyperproliferative signals and activates p53 by interfering with its negative regulator, Mdm2. Mice lacking ARF are highly prone to tumor development, and in this study, 80% of these animals spontaneously developed tumors and died within their first year of life. Mice that were heterozygous for ARF also developed tumors after a longer latency, whereas their wild-type littermates did not. In heterozygotes, tumor formation was accompanied by loss of the residual ARF allele and/or lack of ARF mRNA expression, implying that ARF can act as a canonical "two-hit" tumor suppressor gene. Tumors occurred earlier in life in ARF-null animals that were neonatally irradiated or given dimethylbenzanthrene, and several animals treated with carcinogen simultaneously developed multiple forms of malignancy arising from distinct cell lineages. Although p53-null mice primarily develop lymphomas and fibrosarcomas, the frequency of these two tumor types was inverted in ARF-null animals, with undifferentiated sarcomas predominating in a 3:2 ratio; 28% of ARF-null animals developed carcinomas and tumors of the nervous system, which have been rarely observed in untreated p53-null mice. The longer latency of tumor formation in ARF-null versus p53-null mice, therefore, appears to enable a broader spectrum of tumors to emerge. (+info
Extramedullary plasmacytoma in a horse with ptyalism and dysphagia.
A Clydesdale mare was examined for weight loss, inappetence, ptyalism, and dysphagia. The main abnormality revealed by serum biochemistry was a marked hyperglobulinemia, and protein electrophoresis revealed a monoclonal gammopathy in the gamma region. The urine was positive for Bence Jones proteins. These findings suggested a plasma cell tumor. The neoplasm could not be located with extensive antemortem examination. At postmortem, neoplastic cells morphologically compatible with plasma cells and positive for equine IgG with imunoperoxidase staining infiltrated the pericardium, mediastinal stromal tissues, adrenal glands, meninges, atrioventricular valves, aorta, abdominal and thoracic fat, and nerves, including the trigeminal nerve. The neoplastic cells invading the cranial nerves were responsible for many of the presenting signs. (+info
DeltaN-p73alpha accumulates in human neuroblastic tumors.
Neuroblastic tumors (NTs), occurring in early childhood, display a wide spectrum of differentiation. Recurrent deletions involving the p73 locus are frequently observed in undifferentiated NTs. To address the question of the possible implication of p73 in neuroblastic differentiation, we investigated the status of the expression of this gene in a panel of differentiated and undifferentiated tumors. Although mutations were not found, p73 transcript profiles differed between undifferentiated and differentiated tumors. The frequency of the transcripts lacking exon 2 (species 1-3) appeared to be higher in undifferentiated than in differentiating and differentiated NTs. In contrast, products from using an alternate promoter (DeltaN-p73) were present in all NTs. In addition, only DeltaN-p73, but not full-length proteins, were detected by immunoblotting, suggesting a greater stability of N-truncated isoforms. Importantly, as in the adrenal medulla, most NTs showed p73-positive immunohistological staining with a cellular distribution and intensity varying according to the neuronal differentiation. Surprisingly, we observed redistribution of p73 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm during neuroblastic differentiation. Our data suggest that, in undifferentiated NTs, a link may exist between the accumulation of DeltaN-p73alpha variants and the "nuclear exclusion" of p53. (+info
Id proteins at the cross-road of development and cancer.
A large body of evidence has been accumulated that demonstrates dominant effects of Id proteins on different aspects of cellular growth. Generally, constitutive expression of Id not only blocks cell differentiation but also drives proliferation. In some settings, it is sufficient to render cells immortal or induce oncogenic transformation. The participation of Id proteins in advanced human malignancy, where they are frequently deregulated, has been dramatically bolstered by the recent discovery that Id exert pivotal contributions to many of the essential alterations that collectively dictate malignant growth. Relentless proliferation associated with self-sufficiency in growth signals and insensitivity to growth inhibitory signals, sustained neoangiogenesis, tissue invasiveness and migration capabilities of tumor cells all share dependency on the unlimited availability of Id proteins. It is remarkable that many of these features recapitulate those physiologically propelled by Id proteins to support normal development. We propose that the participation of Id in multiple fundamental traits of cancer may be the basis for unprecedented therapeutic opportunities. (+info
BRAF as a melanoma susceptibility candidate gene?
A high frequency of activating BRAF somatic mutations have been identified recently in malignant melanoma and nevi indicating that BRAF activation could be an early and critical step in the initiation of melanocytic neoplasia. To determine whether BRAF mutations could be an earlier event occurring at the germline level, we screened the entire BRAF coding region for germline mutations in 80 independent melanoma-prone families or patients with multiple primary melanoma without a familial history. We identified 13 BRAF variants, 4 of which were silent mutations in coding regions and 9 nucleotide substitutions in introns. None of these BRAF variants segregated with melanoma in the 11 melanoma families studied. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the frequency of heterozygotes for BRAF variants between melanoma cases and controls when they were compared. Our data suggest that BRAF is unlikely to be a melanoma susceptibility gene. (+info
Induction and spontaneous regression of intense pulmonary neuroendocrine cell differentiation in a model of preneoplastic lung injury.
Pulmonary neuroendocrine cell (PNEC) hyperplasia is associated with chronic lung diseases in humans, where it is thought to play a role in reparative responses to lung injury. To investigate the kinetics of strongly induced PNEC hyperplasia in an animal model, we exposed hamsters to a combination of hyperoxia (60% O2) and diethylnitrosamine (DEN) for up to 20 weeks. We thus demonstrate not only the induction but also spontaneous regression of intense PNEC differentiation and growth, which are much more intense than those observed with DEN alone. Lung tissues were immunostained for serotonin, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), calcitonin (CT), and gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) (mammalian bombesin). Between 9 and 12 weeks of treatment, the number of CGRP- and serotonin-positive neuroepithelial bodies per cm airway epithelium increased over 10-fold, and CT became detectable. The number of neuroepithelial bodies immunostained for CGRP, serotonin, and CT peaked at 12-14 weeks of treatment, thereafter regressing to near-control levels by 20 weeks, in spite of continued DEN/O2 treatment. Simultaneously, by 6-7 weeks of treatment, there was a significant increase in the mean number of CGRP-positive cells per neuroepithelial body, which continued to rise up to double control levels, with a plateau at 13-20 weeks. GRP and pro-GRP immunostaining were not detectable at any time point. Polymerase chain reaction analyses of neuroendocrine-specific mRNAs demonstrated that CGRP, CT, and GRP mRNAs (normalized for beta-actin) peaked in lung tissues from most animals at 9-14 weeks after the beginning of DEN/O2 treatment, with decreased expression at 16-20 weeks. These data suggest that regulation of levels of these neuropeptides may be primarily transcriptional. This model may be a valuable system for analyzing mechanisms of induction and regression of normal PNEC differentiation and growth. (+info
Nitrosamine-induced lung carcinogenesis and Ca2+/calmodulin antagonists.
This review summarizes recent data which implicate cell membrane receptors and their associated signal transduction pathways as molecular targets of tobacco-related lung carcinogenesis as well as therapy of such cancers. It is shown that the two nitrosamines N-nitrosodiethylamine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone bind to nicotinic cholinergic receptors in hamster lung. Binding of the nitrosamines as well as nicotine to this receptor stimulates proliferation of human lung carcinoid cells in vitro. These data suggest chronic stimulation of nicotinic receptors by nicotine and nitrosamines in smokers as one of the molecular events responsible for stimulation of neuroendocrine cell proliferation and ultimately the development of lung tumors with neuroendocrine differentiation. On the other hand, a selective antiproliferative effect of the dihydropyridine derivative B859-35 on neuroendocrine lung tumor cells in vivo and in vitro suggests the potential use of such agents as cancer therapeutics. The demonstrated inhibition of Ca2+/calmodulin and protein kinase C by B859-35 as reported in other in vitro systems suggests interference with such elements of signal transduction pathways as the molecular mechanism of the observed antiproliferative effects. (+info
Intracranial tumors in children. An analysis of 2000 cases.
Two thousand patients aged 15 years and below, who underwent surgical treatment for intracranial tumors in Beijing Tiantan Hospital from 1955 to 1989, were studied. All of the tumors in this series have been verified by operative findings and histological studies. This series accounts for 15.1% of all cases of intracranial tumors treated within the same period. The characteristics of the histological classifications, locations and clinical manifestations of the intracranial tumors in children are presented. Stresses are placed on the importance of making correct diagnoses in the early stage. Misdiagnoses had been made in 1/4 of the cases in this series before they came to our hospital, thus causing much delayed treatment in many of them. Malignant tumors make up a majority of intracranial tumors in children, and so the prognoses of intracranial tumors are poorer in children than in adults. The authors are of the opinion that adequate radiotherapy is needed after surgical intervention for many of the intracranial tumors. (+info