A New System for Detecting Mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana and the Mutational Spectra Resulting from Ethylmethanesulfonate Treatment



Tumors of the nervous system most often occur in both children and adults as sporadic events with no family history of the disease, but they are also among the clinical manifestations of a significant number of familial cancer syndromes, including familial retinoblastoma, neurofibromatosis 1 and 2, tuberous sclerosis, and Cowden, Turcot, Li-Fraumeni and nevoid basal cell carcinoma (Gorlin) syndromes. All of these syndromes involve transmissible genetic risk resulting from loss of a functional allele, or inheritance of a structurally defective allele, of a specific gene. These genes include <i>RB1, NF1, NF2, TSC1, TSC2, TP53, PTEN, APC, hMLH1, hPSM2,</i> and <i>PTCH</i>, most of which function as tumor suppressor genes. The same genes are also observed in mutated and inactive forms, or are deleted, in tumor cells in sporadic cases of the same tumors. The nature of the mutational events that give rise to these inactivated alleles suggests a possible role of environmental mutagens in their causation. However, only external ionizing radiation at high doses is clearly established as an environmental cause of brain, nerve and meningeal tumors in humans. Transplacental carcinogenesis studies in rodents and other species emphasize the extraordinary susceptibility of the developing mammalian nervous system to carcinogenesis, but the inverse relationship of latency to dose suggests that low transplacental exposures to genotoxicants are more likely to result in brain tumors late in life, rather than in childhood. While not all neurogenic tumor-related genes in humans have similar effects in experimental rodents, genetically engineered mice (GEM) increasingly provide useful insights into the combined effects of multiple tumor suppressor genes and of gene-environment interactions in the genesis of brain tumors, especially pediatric brain tumors such as medulloblastoma.<br>


  • Journal of Radiation Research

    Journal of Radiation Research 47(3), 223-228, 2006-09-30

    Journal of Radiation Research Editorial Committee

References:  61


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