- AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH
Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) plays an important role in cell growth, and its activity is regulated by many mechanisms. The biochemical characteristics of ODC in malignant cells differ from those of ODC in normal cells. To determine whether novel changes occur in ODC in neoplastic tissue, we compared the nucleotide sequence of ODC cDNA obtained from human hepatoma tissue as determined by reverse transcriptase-PCR with that of ODC cDNA obtained from nontumorous tissue in the same patients, There were three point mutations accompanied by replacements of amino acids in hepatoma tissue with other amino acids or a stop codon. In one poorly differentiated hepatoma, codon 415, CAA was concerted to TAA, resulting in replacement of Gln-415 by a stop codon. The mutated ODC protein produced by translation in a reticulocyte-lysate protein synthesizing system was truncated and stabilized in an ATP antizyme-dependent degradation system. These findings suggest that formation of a truncated and stabilized ODC protein due to point mutation is one reason why ODC activity is high in human hepatoma tissue.
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