Abstract Title:

Mutagenic effects of DNA-containing oncogenic viruses and malignant transformation of mammalian cells.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1984 Oct ;13(2):167-79. PMID: 6090006

Abstract Author(s):

N I Shapiro, M I Marshak, N B Varshaver

Article Affiliation:

N I Shapiro


It was discovered in the 1970s that oncogenic viruses could induce gene mutations in mammalian cells. The phenomenon seems to be widespread: it was observed with all groups of DNA-containing viruses and some retroviruses. The mutagenic effects of the tested viruses at gene level are not locus specific. The viruses induce point mutations, including base substitutions, as well as deletions and insertions. The mutagenic effect of SV40 is controlled by the activity of the early A gene, which encodes the T antigen. Presumably, the process of integration creates the possibility for occurrence of mutations early after infection. Mutagenesis seems to be induced by an integrated virus, though to a much smaller extent. Virus-induced mutagenesis may be connected with an activation of the cell error-prone repair systems. The sum total of the experimental data shows that virus-induced mutagenesis and transformation are interrelated: (A) viruses, like other carcinogenes, display mutagenic activity; (B) viruses that are far removed from each other systematically, whose only similarity lay in being oncogenic and capable of integration, simultaneously showed the ability to induce gene mutations; (C) agents changing the rate of transformation also changed the rate of gene mutations: (D) The function of mutagenicity was mapped in the oncogene of SV40 (gene A); and the DNA of (E) mouse mammary carcinoma virus (MMTV) and avian leukosis virus (ALLV) induced tumors has been found to contain nucleotide sequences that transform 3T3NIH cells but do not carry any viral genetic information. Mutagenesis induced by oncogenic viruses may play a part in the multistage process of malignant transformation, though its contribution may be different in various specific cases and for different groups of viruses. Further studies of the uncommon mutagens, which viruses seem to be, may greatly increase our knowledge of the virus-cell relationship. An understanding of the extent of genetic danger inherent in viruses and live viral vaccines is necessary for practical medicine.

Study Type : Review
Additional Links
Diseases : Cancers
Anti Therapeutic Actions : Vaccination: All : CK(12676) : AC(1344)

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