Topical application of dibenzo[a,I]pyrene (DB[a,I]P) to the dorsal skin of SENCAR mice induces codon 61 (CAAGln to CTALeu) mutations in the Harvey (H)-ras gene within 12 h after treatment. Between days 1 and 3, the frequency of these mutations increases rapidly, suggesting that skin cells carrying the codon 61 mutations proliferate in this period. We have investigated DB[a,I]P-treated mouse skin (12 h-7 d) for further evidence of H-ras expression and epidermal cell proliferation. Two waves of cell proliferation were observed: the first wave (1-2 d) correlated with the clonal proliferation of codon 61-mutated cells, and the second wave (3-7 d) correlated with DB[a,I]P-induced hyperplasia. DB[a,I]P-induced early preneoplastic cell proliferation correlated with H-ras and specific G1 cyclin expression. Total H-ras protein and cyclin D1 were found to increase during DB[a,I]P-induced hyperplasia, but the levels of guanosine triphosphate-bound (active) H-ras protein and cyclin E were increased during the putative clonal proliferation of codon 61-mutated cells. These results suggest that DB[a,I]P-induced oncogenically mutated cells proliferate in early preneoplastic skin. As this proliferation occurs in the absence of any promoting treatment, we propose that this phenomenon is a tumor initiation event.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology