Targeted antizyme expression in the skin of transgenic mice reduces tumor promoter induction of ornithine decarboxylase and decreases sensitivity to chemical carcinogenesis

David J. Feith, Lisa M. Shantz, Anthony E. Pegg, Anthony E. Pegg

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To directly evaluate the role of increased ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and polyamines in mouse skin carcinogenesis, we used bovine keratin 5 (K5) and keratin 6 (K6) promoter elements to direct the expression of antizyme (AZ) to specific skin cell populations. AZ is a multifunctional regulator of polyamine metabolism that inhibits ODC activity, stimulates ODC degradation, and suppresses polyamine uptake. K5-AZ mice treated with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) at 0 and 24 h exhibit increases in epidermal and dermal ODC activity that are reduced in magnitude. K6-AZ mice treated similarly do not show any increased ODC activity or protein after a second application due to TPA-induced expression of AZ protein. Epidermal and dermal polyamine content, particularly spermidine, is reduced in untreated K5-AZ mice and TPA-treated K5-AZ and K6-AZ mice. Susceptibility to 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene/TPA carcinogenesis was also investigated for two K6-AZ transgenic lines [K6-AZ(52) and K6-AZ(18)] and a single K5-AZ line. K6-AZ(52) mice had a substantial delay in tumor onset and a >80% reduction in tumor multiplicity compared with normal littermates. K6-AZ(18) and K5-AZ mice also developed fewer papillomas than littermate controls (35% and 50%, respectively), and the combination of these lines to produce double transgenic animals yielded an additive decrease (70%) in tumor multiplicity. These mice demonstrate for the first time that AZ suppresses tumor growth in an animal cancer model and provide a valuable model system to evaluate the role of ODC and polyamines in skin tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6073-6081
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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