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Toxicol Lett. 2001 Sep 15;123(2-3):151-8.

Heterozygous inactivation of TGF-beta1 increases the susceptibility to chemically induced mouse lung tumorigenesis independently of mutational activation of K-ras.

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Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA.


Mice heterozygous for deletion of the transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) gene show an enhanced rate of lung tumorigenesis following carcinogen treatment. Since the growth inhibitory activity of TGF-beta1 in epithelial cells is associated with K-ras p21, and K-ras mutations commonly occur in chemically-induced mouse lung tumors, we postulated that tumors in heterozygous TGF-beta1 mice might be more likely to have K-ras mutations compared with tumors in wildtype TGF-beta1 mice. Urethane-induced lung tumors in AJBL6 TGF-beta1 +/- and +/+ mice were examined for K-ras mutations by polymerase chain reaction/single strand conformation polymorphism analysis and sequencing. Mutation frequencies were similar in both genotypes: 12/18 +/- tumors (67%) and 10/16 +/+ tumors (62%). Mutations occurred in 80% +/- and 75% +/+ carcinomas, but in only 50% of the adenomas of both TGF-beta1 genotypes. Codon 61 A-->G transition mutations were predominant, occurring in 61% +/- and 44% +/+ tumors. Three +/- (17%) and three +/+ (19%) tumors showed codon 12 mutations, mostly G-->A transitions. Two +/- tumors had both codon 61 and codon 12 mutations. Interestingly, carcinomas with mutations in codon 61 were larger than those with codon 12 changes. It appears that the mechanism of enhanced susceptibility of TGF-beta1+/- mice to urethane-induced lung carcinogenesis does not involve selective development of tumors with K-ras mutations.

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