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Cancer Res. 1993 Oct 15;53(20):4811-6.

HPV-16, tobacco-specific N-nitrosamine, and N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in oral carcinogenesis.

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School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles.


We previously immortalized human oral keratinocytes by transfection with recombinant human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) DNA and established two cell lines. These transfected cells were morphologically different from the normal counterpart, contained intact HPV-16 DNA in an integrated form, and expressed numerous viral genes. These cells contained lower levels of wild-type p53 protein and higher levels of c-myc mRNAs compared to normal cells. However, they proliferated only in keratinocyte growth medium containing a low level of calcium and were not tumorigenic in nude mice. A HPV-16-immortalized cell line was exposed to either 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone or N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Four chemically transformed cell colonies were isolated. These cells proliferated well in Dulbecco's minimum essential medium containing a physiological level of calcium. They contained, similar to the immortalized counterpart, integrated HPV-16 sequences and lower levels of both wild-type p53 protein and DCC messages compared to normal cells. Among the chemically transformed cells, two colonies obtained from 4-(methyl-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone exposure demonstrated an enhanced proliferation capacity in nude mice and transcribed a substantially higher amount of HPV-16 E6/E7, epidermal growth factor receptors, and c-myc genes compared with the immortalized counterpart. These experiments indicate that malignant transformation of oral keratinocytes can be caused by a sequential combined effect of "high risk" HPV and tobacco-related carcinogens.

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