The tumor-initiating potency of three simple alkyl carbamates and mono-N-substituted ethyl carbamates was examined in Hall strain mice. The binding of 14C-labeled carbamates to DNA was measured in Crackenbush mice.
Ethyl carbamate was the most potent carcinogen for the epidermis, liver, and lung, followed by its N-alkyl derivatives. Methyl carbamate was without effect but n-propyl and n-butyl were possible carcinogens. The ethyl esters bound to a greater extent to DNA in liver and skin than the methyl, n-propyl, and n-butyl esters and only this binding persisted.
A preliminary application of croton oil increased the yield of skin tumors but not of liver or lung tumors. It also increased the binding of the alkyl carbamates to DNA in skin, the increase being greatest with ethyl carbamate. The binding persisted longer in treated than in non-croton oil-treated mice.
This work was supported by grants from the Queensland Cancer Fund and the Mayne Bequest Fund of the University of Queensland.