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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increased mutant frequency and altered mutation spectrum of the lacI transgene in Wilson disease rats with hepatitis.

The mutant strain Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rat, which accumulates copper in the liver because of a mutation in the Atp7b gene, encoding a copper-ATPase, is a model of Wilson disease. It spontaneously develops hepatitis, and subsequently hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiofibrosis. Excess intracellular copper has been thought to induce DNA damage through reactive oxygen species produced by Cu (II)/Cu (I) redox cycling, and also by direct interaction with DNA. We have developed lacI transgenic Wilson disease (WND-B) rats by mating LEC with Big Blue F344 rats carrying a lambda shuttle vector harboring the lacI gene. lacI mutations of the livers of C-B heterozygous (Atp7b w/m, lacI) and WND-B homozygous (Atp7b m/m, lacI) rats at 6, 24, and 40 weeks of ages were analyzed. Mutant frequencies in the WND-B rats were 2.0 +/- 0.7 x 10(-5), 5.3 +/- 0.9 x 10(-5), and 5.3 +/- 1.0 x 10(-5), respectively, significantly higher than those of C-B rats. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the frequency of deletion mutations of more than two nucleotides were much higher, 15% in WND-B rats, but only 2% in C-B rats. In addition, the average size of deletion was larger in the former. Loss of oligonucleotide-repeat units was specific and relatively frequent in WND-B rats. This type of mutation might be implicated in the induction of DNA strand scissions by reactive oxygen species. These findings suggest that the increase in mutant frequencies and/or the specific type of mutation according to copper accumulation play a crucial role in hepatocarcinogenesis in LEC rats.[1]


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