Experimental models forp53, hepatitis B and aflatoxin hepatocarcinogenesis

Nader Ramsis Ghebranious, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The major risk factors for liver cancer in Southeast Asia: HBV infection, aflatoxin exposure and p53 expression/mutation, were examined in experimental models. Four groups were examined for development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with and without neonatal exposure to aflatoxin (AFB$\sb1)$: (Group I.) Transgenic HBsAg mice with one p53 allele. (Group II) Transgenic HBsAg mice with two p53 alleles. (Group III) Non-transgenic litter mates with one p53 allele. (Group IV) Non-transgenic litter mates with two p53 alleles. HCC developed in Group I animals exposed to aflatoxin at an earlier time and were of a higher grade than those seen later in other groups. These results provide an explanation for as to why p53 is a target for deletion and/or mutation in human HCC especially when found in high risk areas where HBV infection and Aflatoxin B1 food contamination is high, and nicely illustrates a synergistic interaction among these three factors. None of the tumors analyzed had loss or mutation in the p53 gene. To determine the significance of the specific p53ser249 mutation found in HBV/aflatoxin associated human hepatomas in an in-vivo experimental model using transgenic mice, a two-nucleotide change in the mouse p53 gene at amino acid position 246, which is equivalent to that of 249 in human p53, was introduced. Transgenic mice with mutant p53 controlled by the albumin promoter were generated and shown to express the p53ser246 mutant RNA and protein specifically in liver. Three groups were examined for development of HCC with and without neonatal exposure to aflatoxin: (Group V) Transgenic p53ser246 mice with two p53 alleles. (Group VI) Transgenic p53ser246 mice with one p53 allele. (Group VII) Double transgenic for p53ser246 and HBsAg with two p53 alleles. One hundred percent of male mice with the three risk factors injected with aflatoxin developed high grade liver tumors, compared to 66.6% from group VI and only 14.2% of group V suggesting synergistic interaction between HBsAg and this particular ser246 p53 mutation. In order to examine the growth properties of hepatocytes and correlation with p53 loss and/or mutation, cell proliferation and ploidy analysis of liver from normal heterozyous, homozygous null mice and from transgenic mutant p53ser246, mice were studied. Loss of wild-type p53 increased G1/G0 ratios of cells as well as proliferation and decreased cell ploidy. The mutant p53ser246 did not show a significant effect on cell ploidy or proliferation. However a striking 5-10X increase in G1/G0 ratio suggests that this specific mutation specifically induces G0 to G1 transition, which in turn further predisposes hepatocytes to the damaging effect of Aflatoxin. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Pathology|Oncology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Ghebranious, Nader Ramsis, "Experimental models forp53, hepatitis B and aflatoxin hepatocarcinogenesis" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9717016.