Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) overexpression cooperates with genetic lesions such as an activated c-rasHa to enhance epithelial tumorigenesis. To assess the invasiveness of ODC-overexpressing cells, two noninvasive epidermal cell lines, nontumorigenic BK-1 cells, and the papilloma-derived cell line SP-1 were infected with a replication-defective retrovirus that overexpresses ODC, inoculated into deepithelialized rat tracheas, and transplanted into athymic nude mice. After 5 weeks, ODC-overexpressing BK-1 cells remained localized on the luminal surface of the tracheal xenotransplants, whereas the ODC-overexpressing SP-1 cells were extremely invasive, with the whole tracheal wall penetrated. This invasiveness of ODC-overexpressing SP-1 cells was accompanied by elevated proteinase expression, including increased urokinase plasminogen activator activity in ODC-overexpressing cells and elevated stromelysin-1 mRNA expression in the stromal cells of invaded tracheal transplants.


This work was supported by Grant CA70739 from the National Cancer Institute (to S. K. G.) and in part by Grant CA45293 from NIH (to R. J. M.) and Grant CA46843 from NIH-National Cancer Institute (to L. M. M.).

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