This study investigates possible alterations in exons 5 through 8 of the p53 gene and altered p53 protein expression in the Syrian golden hamster model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. In the Syrian hamster p53 sequence, 1469 base pairs are presented for the genomic regions surrounding exons 5 through 8, along with the primer sequences specific for the enzymatic amplification of the individual exons. Single-stranded conformation polymorphism was analyzed on the products obtained by enzymatic amplification of hamster genomic DNA extracted from 2 transplantable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, 6 groups of N-methylnitrosourea (MNU)-treated pancreatic duct cells, and 17 MNU-induced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. The two transplantable adenocarcinomas were a well-differentiated ductal adenocarcinoma established from a N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine-induced tumor and a poorly differentiated ductal adenocarcinoma established from a spontaneous tumor. An altered mobility indicated a conformational change in the first part of exon 5 in the solid form of the well-differentiated ductal adenocarcinoma. Direct sequencing of the amplified product revealed an A→C transversion in codon 135, which corresponds to codon 132 in the human p53 gene. A conformational change in exon 7 was observed in 1 of 6 MNU-treated cell samples, and none of the 17 resultant tumors. Direct sequencing confirmed a deletion of one C of the three in codon 263, which generates a frameshift mutation. No conformational change was observed in any other products. Positive staining with PAb240 or DO7 antibodies against human p53 or with an antibody generated in our laboratory against the hamster p53 fusion protein was observed only in the solid form of well-differentiated ductal adenocarcinoma and in rare cells scattered in 4 of 28 MNU-induced tumors analyzed. This study provides a system to analyze p53 gene alterations in the hamster and is the initial report of a specific p53 mutation in a hamster pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

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This work was supported by Grant CA34051 from the National Cancer Institute, the Adrian Mayer MD Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, and by Grant DK08574 (to K. A. M.) from the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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