We investigated the relationship between the activation of the c-myc and c-K-ras proto-oncogenes and the acquisition of metastatic potential in a methylcholanthrene-induced BALB/c fibrosarcoma. The murine fibrosarcoma GR9 was originally induced in BALB/c mice following exposure to the carcinogenic chemical 3-methylcholanthrene. To induce spontaneous metastasis, we used two tumor cell clones (B9 and G2) known to differ in their metastatic potential, local tumor growth, H-2 class I expression and sensitivity to natural killer (NK) cells. The metastatic nodes were obtained from the lung, liver and kidney. The results showed: (1) amplification of the c-myc proto-oncogene in original tumor clones as well as in all metastatic nodes; (2) mRNA overexpression without amplification of the K-ras proto-oncogene in the metastatic cells, regardless of their anatomical location; (3) no c-K-ras point mutations at codons 12 and 61, and (4) in general, a statistically significantly reduced in vitro sensitivity of metastatic tumor cells to NK cells as compared with the tumor clones used to induce them (p < 0.05). These results therefore suggest that overexpressed c-K-ras mRNA is important during tumor progression, perhaps rendering metastatic tumor cells more resistant to lysis by NK cells.
Copyright © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel
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