Induction of endogenous retroelements as a potential mechanism for mouse-specific drug-induced carcinogenicity

A number of chemical compounds have been shown to induce liver tumors in mice but not in other species. While several mechanisms for this species-specific tumorigenicity have been proposed, no definitive mechanism has been established. We examined the effects of the nongenotoxic rodent hepatic carcinogen, WY-14,643, in male mice from a high liver tumor susceptible strain (C3H/HeJ), and from a low tumor susceptible strain (C57BL/6). WY-14,643, a PPARα activator induced widespread increases in the expression of some endogenous retroelements, namely members of LTR and LINE elements in both strains. The expression of a number of known retroviral defense genes was also elevated. We also demonstrated that basal immune-mediated viral defense was elevated in C57BL/6 mice (the resistant strain) and that WY-14,643 further activated those immuno-defense processes. We propose that the previously reported >100X activity of retroelements in mice drives mouse-specific tumorigenicity. We also propose that C57BL/6’s competent immune to retroviral activation allows it to remove cells before the activation of these elements can result in significant chromosomal insertions and mutation. Finally, we showed that WY-14,643 treatment induced gene signatures of DNA recombination in the sensitive C3H/HeJ strain.

Publication Date:
May 04 2017
Date Submitted:
Aug 10 2018
PloS one
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 Record created 2018-08-10, last modified 2019-04-03

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