Modulating Factors in the Expression of Radiation-Induced Oncogenic Transformation
Environmental Health Perspectives
Many assays for oncogenic transformation have been developed ranging from those in established rodent cell lines where morphological alteration is scored, to those in human cells growing in nude mice where tumor invasiveness is scored. In general, systems that are most quantitative are also the least relevant in terms of human carcinogenesis and human risk estimation. The development of cell culture systems has made it possible to assess at the cellular level the oncogenic potential of a
... tential of a variety of chemical, physical and viral agents. Cell culture systems afford the opportunity to identify factors and conditions that may prevent or enhance cellular transformation by radiation and chemicals. Permissive and protective factors in radiation-induced transformation include thyroid hormone and the tumor promoter TPA that increase the transformation incidence for a given dose of radiation, and retinoids, selenium, vitamin E, and 5aminobenzamide that inhibit the expression of transformation. Densely ionizing a-particles, similar to those emitted by radon daughters, are highly effective in inducing transformations and appear to interact in a supra-additive fashion with asbestos fibers. The activation of a known dominant oncogene has not yet been demonstrated in radiation-induced oncogenic transformation. The most likely mechanism for radiation activation of an oncogene would be via the production of a chromosomal translocation. Radiation also efficiently induces deletions and may thus lead to the loss of a suppressor gene.