A hepatocellular carcinoma line (H78) was established from a primary liver tumor induced in Mastomys natalensis by a single administration of dimethylnitrosamine. Six to 8 months after transplantation (passages 5 to 7), well-differentiated tumors, still containing glycogen-storing cells, were isolated and used for the preparation of RNA.
Polysomal polyadenylated RNAs from Mastomys liver and from the H78 tumor line were then compared by hybridization kinetics. Total kinetic complexities were 6.6 × 109 and 6.3 × 109 daltons for liver and tumor, respectively. Complexities of the high and middle abundant class were reduced in the hepatoma. Heterologous hybridization reactions revealed that, in terms of RNA mass, all or most of the polysomal polyadenylated RNA present in the liver was also present in the tumor and vice versa. However, shifts in the relative abundance of messenger RNA sequences were detected. In contrast to most other transplanted hepatomas, H78 has approximately the same content of albumin messenger RNA on its polysomes as has untreated liver.