ras oncogene mutations in diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatic tumors in medaka (Oryzias latipes), a teleost fish.
Medaka fish are an established non-mammalian research model for the study of liver carcinogenesis and exposure to environmental pollutants. Studies have emphasized the development of hepatic neoplasms in medaka following exposure to model carcinogens. To date however, little information is known regarding the mechanisms underlying initiation of hepatic tumors in this species. The aim of this study was to relate our understanding of diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced tumor formation to ras gene activation in hepatic neoplasms of exposed medaka. Initial studies were conducted to identify medaka ras exons 1 and 2 by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Amplification of ras exons 1 and 2 from untreated medaka liver resulted in the identification of three polymorphic ras sequence variants exhibiting a high degree of homology to other teleost and mammalian ras genes. Exposure of medaka to 159 ppm of DEN resulted in a wide range of hepatic neoplasms including: hepatocellular adenomas, hepatocellular carcinomas, cholangiomas, and mixed hepatocholangiocellular carcinomas. Individual liver tumors were examined for oncogenically activating ras mutations by probing genomic DNA with probes specific for activating point mutations or by direct cloning and sequencing of ras transcripts using RT-PCR. Using allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) analysis, a single point mutation was detected in codon 12 position two in 8/25 (32%) tumors examined. Mutated ras alleles were additionally detected in 12 of 39 (30%) medaka liver tumors by sequence analysis. Ten of the 12 mutations identified contained a single point mutation at codon 12 resulting in a Gly to Asp amino acid substitution. Two unique mutations were identified at codon 16 resulting in either Lys to Asn or Lys to Thr amino acid substitutions. Our results show that ras mutations are induced by DEN and are present in over 30% of the fish that developed tumors. A ras mutation incidence of 30% is similar to that reported in mammalian species exposed to DEN. While mutations at codon 12 have previously been reported, the present study is the first in vivo report of ras point mutations at codon 16.
Liu, Z; Kullman, SW; Bencic, DC; Torten, M; Hinton, DE
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