The detection of activated protooncogenes in mouse lung tumors has led to a major advance in our understanding of carcinogenesis of the lung at the molecular level. A high frequency of activated K-ras protooncogenes has been detected in tetranitro-methane (TNM)- and 1,3-hutadiene-induced lung tumors in B6C3F1 mice. In the past several years, we have pursued protooncogene activation in spontaneous and chemically induced tumors of strain A mice. The strain A mouse has a high incidence of spontaneous lung tumors and is susceptible to tumor induction by chemical carcinogens. We have detected and characterized the activated protooncogenes in the DNA of both spontaneously occurring and chemically induced lung tumors of strain A mice. Activated K-ras genes were detected using the NIH/3T3 transfection assay, and the activating mutations were identified by utilizing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and direct sequence analysis. A strong selectivity of mutations in the K-ras genes were observed in chemically induced lung tumors, as compared to spontaneous tumors, indicating that the carcinogens directly induced point mutations in the K-ras protooncogene. These findings suggest that the strain A mouse lung tumor model appears to be a very sensitive system to identify the mechanism by which chemical carcinogens activate the K-ras gene in lung tissue in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Clinical Biochemistry