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Role of dna repair and chromosome aberrations in neoplastic transformation San, Richard Hing-Cheung


An attempt has been made to demonstrate an association between the carcinogenic activity of a chemical compound and its capacity to induce DNA damage and chromosome aberrations which may result in mutations and/or neoplastic transformation. Twenty-five 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4NQO) derivatives and five related compounds of 4-nitropyridine 1-oxide (4NPO) of varying carcinogenicity were examined. [Formulae omitted] The induction of DNA damage, chromosome aberrations and clone forming capacity were used as end points. Monolayer cultures of embryonal Syrian-hamster cells and an established line of baby hamster kidney cells (BHK-21) were employed in this study. DNA damage, as measured by the unscheduled incorporation of tritiated thymidine (³H-TdR), was assayed by the autoradiographic procedure. To distinguish DNA repair synthesis from DNA replication synthesis at S-phase, cultured embryonal hamster cells were arrested at G₁ by growing them in an arginine deficient medium (ADM) prior to the application of the various carcinogens. The unscheduled uptake of radioisotope was estimated by counting the number of grains per diploid nucleus of carcinogen treated cells. The highly oncogenic derivatives of 4NQO and 4NPO elicited an elevated level of unscheduled ³H-TdR incorporation in treated cells, while the weakly oncogenic compounds induced only a smaller amount of DNA repair synthesis. The non-oncogenic N-oxides failed to provoke any detectable ³H-TdR uptake. Chromosome aberrations were studied in ADM-arrested cells which were exposed to the various compounds and then triggered into division by transferring them into the regular growth medium. A direct proportionality was observed between the degree of carcinogenicity of a compound and the frequency of induced chromosome aberrations. The clone forming ability of treated cells was employed as a means to compare the cytotoxicity of the 4NQO and 4NPO derivatives. Potent carcinogens were highly cytotoxic; weakly carcinogenic compounds showed only a slight lethal effect and non-oncogenic derivatives did not affect cell survival. This study demonstrated the capacity of carcinogens to induce alterations at the chromosome and DNA level. The possible role of DNA repair and chromosome aberrations in neoplastic transformation was discussed. The use of DNA repair synthes as an economic and relevant tool for identifying mutagens and/or carcinogens has been suggested.

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