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

Nontumorigenic squamous cell carcinoma line converted to tumorigenicity with methyl methanesulfonate without activation of HRAS or MYC.

Plasticity of human tumor populations could account for the reason why many tumorigenic human cell lines lose this feature when grown in culture. Methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) was used to convert premalignant squamous cell carcinoma ( SCC) cell line SCC-83-01-82 to a malignant phenotype. The MMS-treated SCC-83-01-82 cells (MMS-SCC-83-01-82) produced progressively growing tumors in 5 of 11 splenectomized BALB/c nude mice within 3-5 months. A cell line, designated SCC-83-01-82 CA, was established in vitro from one of the mouse tumors and was repassaged successively. This SCC-83-01-82 CA cell line was aggressively tumorigenic. A tumor greater than or equal to 2.0 cm in size was present within a month, as opposed to the 3-5 months required for the tumors produced by the MMS-SCC-83-01-82 cells. Examination of frozen cross sections by in situ hybridization revealed that focal areas of the tumor produced by the MMS-SCC-83-01-82 cells expressed MYC and HRAS mRNA. However, by the third passage in vivo, the levels of expression of the corresponding genes in the mouse tumors were undetectable. Blot-hybridization analysis of the RNA from the MMS-SCC-83-01-82 cells and the subsequently derived tumors and cells did not indicate any consistent overexpression of MYC, HRAS, or KRAS. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of both MYC and HRAS genes revealed neither rearrangement nor amplification of MYC nor point mutation in the 11th or 12th codon of HRAS. The data suggest that alterations in MYC and HRAS were not directly involved in either the initial transformation or MMS-induced tumorigenic conversion of the SCC-83-01-82 cell line. Persistence of tumorigenicity after reisolation of the MMS-converted premalignant SCC-83-01-82 cells did not disappear immediately following the treatment with MMS.[1]


  1. Nontumorigenic squamous cell carcinoma line converted to tumorigenicity with methyl methanesulfonate without activation of HRAS or MYC. Milo, G.E., Shuler, C., Kurian, P., French, B.T., Mannix, D.G., Noyes, I., Hollering, J., Sital, N., Schuller, D., Trewyn, R.W. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1990) [Pubmed]
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