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Previously we showed that the organoselenium compound, 1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)selenocyanate (p-XSC)(1) inhibits 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide (4-NQO)-induced tongue tumorigenesis in Fisher rats. Here we investigate possible mechanisms of this inhibition by monitoring mutagenesis and p53 protein levels in lacI and conventional Fisher rats treated with: (1) a carcinogenic dose of 4-NQO for 10 weeks in drinking water, (2) 4-NQO+p-XSC (15 ppm as selenium), and (3) 4-NQO followed by p-XSC. For mutagenesis studies, rats were euthanized at 7, 12 or 23 weeks after the start of 4-NQO. For studies on p53 levels, rats were euthanized at 11, 15 and 23 weeks. Appropriate controls were also monitored. In the 4-NQO-alone groups, the mutant fraction (MF) in the cII gene in tongue increased at least 50x background level. The MF (in units of mutants/10(5) plaque forming units) for the 7, 12, and 23 weeks 4-NQO groups were respectively, 184 +/- 88, 237 +/- 105, and 329 +/- 110. Thus, mutagenesis increased with length of exposure and post-treatment time. p-XSC modestly (ca. 15-30%) inhibited mutagenesis under all conditions. The inhibition reached significance at the last time point. When p-XSC was administered after 4-NQO, the MF was also modestly reduced. In 4-NQO-alone animals, levels of p53 in tongue (determined by Western blotting) were 1, 1.5 and 2.4 control levels at 10, 15 and 23 weeks, respectively. In the p-XSC+4-NQO group, the enhancement in p53 levels by 4-NQO treatment was decreased about 90% at 15 weeks and 45% (P<0.05) at 23 weeks, and by slightly smaller percentages in corresponding post-treatment groups. p-XSC alone did not alter p53 levels. As p53 levels generally increase in response to DNA damage, these results suggest that p-XSC reduces 4-NQO-induced DNA damage, resulting in reduced 4-NQO-induced mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. However, the fact that p-XSC is also effective when administered after 4-NQO, suggests additional mechanisms of inhibition exist.


Joseph Guttenplan, Kun-Ming Chen, Michael Khmelnitsky, Wieslawa Kosinska, Jeannie Hennessy, Richard Bruggeman, Dhimant Desai, Shantu Amin, Yuan-Wan Sun, Tomas E Spratt, Karam El-Bayoumy. Effects of 1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)selenocyanate on mutagenesis and p53 protein expression in the tongue of lacI rats treated with 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide. Mutation research. 2007 Dec 1;634(1-2):146-55

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PMID: 17720616

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