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Cancer Res. 1975 Nov;35(11 Pt 1):3154-9.

Decrease of epidermal histidase activity by tumor-promoting phorbol esters.


The potent skin tumor promoter (12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) stimulates epidermal macromolecular synthesis as well as proliferation, but little is known of specific functional aberrations produced by TPA. This report presents results of a study on the effects of TPA on epidermal histidase (L-histidine ammonia lyase), an enzyme found in normal epidermis but not in dermis or in mouse squamous cell carcinomas. Histidase activity was assayed on postmitochondrial supernatants obtained from hairless mouse epidermis after removal by keratotome. Topical TPA treatment at doses active in tumor promotion (1.7 to 17.0 nmoles/application) produced dose-dependent decreases in epidermal histidase specific activity at 19 hr posttreatment. The onset of the decrease occurred at 12 hr with recovery to control level specific activity by 5 days, showing kinetics similar to those obtained for stimulation of DNA synthesis. This decrease in histidase could not be attributed to a general inhibition of soluble protein synthesis or to the appearance of an inhibitor of histidase activity. The strong promoter TPA produced a greater histidase decrease than did the moderate promoter and mitogen 12,13-didecanoyl phorbol at equimolar dose, while phorbol, a nonpromoter and nonmitogen, produced no effects on histidase. The relationship of this histidase depression to tumor promotion and not initiation is further indicated by the finding that (a) Tween 60, a structurally unrelated tumor promotor, also produced a decrease in histidase; and (b) the tumor initiator urethan and an initiating dose of 9,10-dimethybenz(a)anthracene showed no effects on histadase activity.

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