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Mol Carcinog. 1993;8(3):186-92.

Ki-ras oncogene mutations in tumors and DNA adducts formed by benz[j]aceanthrylene and benzo[a]pyrene in the lungs of strain A/J mice.

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Carcinogenesis and Metabolism Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711.


Strain A/J mice received intraperitoneal injections of benz[j]aceanthrylene (B[j]A) or benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). At 24, 48, and 72 h, lung tissues were removed for analysis of B[a]P- or B[j]A-derived DNA adduct formation during the first 3 d of exposure. One group of mice exposed to these hydrocarbons was kept for 8 mo to determine lung tumor multiplicity, the occurrence of mutations in codons 12 and 61 of the Ki-ras gene in the tumors that arose, the relationship between Ki-ras oncogene mutations in tumors, and the presence and quantity of genomic DNA adducts. The major DNA adduct in the lungs of mice exposed to B[a]P was N2-(10 beta-[+B, 7 alpha, 9 alpha-trihydroxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene]yl)-deoxyguanosine (BPDE-I-dGuo) arising from bay-region diolepoxide activation of B[a]P and was consistent with the occurrence of tumors with mutations GGT-->TGT (56%), GGT-->GTT (25%), and GGT-->GAT (19%) in codon 12, all involving mutations of a guanine. B[j]A, a demethylated analogue of 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MCA) with an unsaturated cyclopenta ring, produced 16-to 60-fold more tumors at equivalent doses than did B[a]P; the mutations in tumors were GGT-->TGT (4%), GGT-->GTT (30%), and GGT-->CGT (65%). Analysis of adduction patterns in DNA suggested that B[j]A was activated to form DNA-binding derivatives in A/J mouse lungs primarily at the cyclopenta ring even though B[j]A contains a bay region. As reported in the published literature, the mutation spectrum induced by 3-MCA in Ki-ras codon 12 of mouse cells is similar to that of B[a]P but not to that of its close relative B[j]A. In contrast to B[j]A, 3-MCA is activated mostly via a bay-region diol-epoxide since its cyclopenta ring is saturated and not easily epoxidates. Therefore, we propose that the GGT-->CGT mutations produced by B[j]A in Ki-ras codon 12 were mostly the result of cyclopenta-ring-derived adducts.

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