Simile, Maria Maddalena and Pascale, Rosa Maria and De Miglio, Maria Rosaria and Daino, Lucia and Seddaiu, Maria Antonietta and Gaspa, Leonardo and Feo, Francesco (1994) Correlation between S-adenosyl-l-methionine content and production of c-myc, c-Ha-ras, and c-Ki-ras mRNA transcripts in the early stages of rat liver carcinogenesis. Cancer Letters, Vol. 79 (1), p. 9-16. eISSN 1872-7980. Article.
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γ-Glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT)-positive and glutathione S-transferase (placental-GST-P) positive foci were induced in male Wistar rats by initiation with diethylnitrosamine (DENA), followed by selection and phenobarbital (PB). GGT- and GST-P-positive foci occupied 20–46% and 27–68% of liver parenchyma, respectively, 5–9 weeks after initiation. A high DNA synthesis was found in GGT-positive foci. Decrease in S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) level and SAM/S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) ratio, and overall DNA hypomethylation occurred in the liver during the development of enzyme altered foci (EAF). These parameters underwent very small and transient changes in the liver of uninitiated rats at the 5th week, when EAF occupied 0.7–1.4% of the liver. At the 9th week, high RNA transcripts of c-myc, c-Ha-ras, and c-Ki-ras were found in the liver of initiated rats, but not in that of uninitiated rats. Immunohistochemical evaluation of c-myc gene product showed overexpression in GST-P-positive cells. SAM treatment of initiated rats caused inhibition of EAF growth, recovery of SAM/SAH ratio and DNA methylation, and decrease in protooncogene expression proportional to the dose and length of treatment. Liver SAM/SAH ratio was positively correlated with DNA methylation, and negatively correlated with transcript levels of the three protooncogenes. Thus, decrease in SAM/SAH ratio and DNA hypomethylation are early features of hepatocarcinogenesis promotion in rats fed a diet containing adequate lipotrope amounts, paralleled by overexpression of growth-related genes and rapid growth. Re-establishment of a physiologic SAM level makes it possible to inhibit protooncogene expression and EAF growth and to prevent late liver lesion development.
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