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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Dec;72(12):5135-9.

Detection of carcinogens as mutagens in the Salmonella/microsome test: assay of 300 chemicals.


About 300 carcinogens and non-carcinogens of a wide variety of chemical types have been tested for mutagenicity in the simple Salmonella/microsome test. The test uses bacteria as sensitive indicators for DNA damage, and mammalian liver extracts for metabolic conversion of carcinogens to their active mutagenic forms. Quantitative mutagenicity data from linear dose-response curves are presented: potency varies over a 10(6)-fold range. There is a high correlation between carcinogenicity and mutagenicity: 90% (156/174) of carcinogens are mutagenic in the test and despite the severe limitations inherent in defining non-carcinogenicity, few "non-carcinogens" show any degree of mutagenicity. The results also demonstrate the great utility, and define the limitations, of the test in detecting environmental carcinogens.

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