Focal altered compartmentation of repetitive B2 (Alu-like) sequences in rat liver following hepatocarcinogen exposure

Gary A. Clawson, Shani L. Schalles, Gabriella Wolz, Judith Weisz, Tina M. Crone, Gregory Q. Miranda

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7 Scopus citations


Rats were treated with low doses of the hepatocarcinogens dimethylnitrosamine or thioacetamide, and livers were examined 48 h later. These treatments are known to produce altered RNA compartmentation, wherein a class of repetitive RNA sequences normally restricted to the nucleus appears in the cytoplasm. Reverse transcription-PCR amplifications demonstrated that the sequences showing altered compartmentation consisted largely of a subfamily of the rodent B2 sequence family, the counterpart of human Alu sequences involved in retrotransposition. Northern blot analyses showed that these B2 sequences were found in cytoplasmic RNA as 170- to 360-nucleotide 'sense' transcripts, and competition hybridization experiments established that B2 sequences represented most (if not all) of the sequences showing altered compartmentation. The major increase in B2 transcripts in cytoplasmic RNA was not associated with any change in B2 transcription by RNA polymerase III. In situ hybridizations showed that the altered compartmentation of B2 sequences occurred in well-delineated foci within rat liver; these foci consisted of a central region containing a prominent infiltrate of macrophages admixed with small hepatocytes and a peripheral region of histologically normal hepatocytes that showed evidence of oxidative damage. Altered compartmentation of B2 sequences may represent an important focal initiatory change in a subset of hepatocytes, whereas subsequent retrotranspositional events (associated with Alu-like sequences) could predispose initiated cell foci to alterations in promotion/progression phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-646
Number of pages12
JournalCell Growth and Differentiation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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