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||Fibroblasts from patients with hereditary cutaneous malignant melanoma are abnormally sensitive to the mutagenic effect of simulated sunlight and 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide.
||Howell JN, Greene MH, Corner RC, Maher VM, McCormick JJ
||Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
||Because of a possible etiologic link between mutations and carcinogenesis, we compared fibroblasts derived from skin biopsies of several patients with hereditary cutaneous malignant melanoma and the dysplastic nevus syndrome for sensitivity to the mutagenic and/or cytotoxic effect of broad-spectrum simulated sunlight and of a UV mimetic carcinogen, 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4NQO). The genetic marker was resistance to 6-thioguanine; loss of colony-forming ability was the assay for cytotoxicity. All five strains tested were more sensitive than normal to the killing effect of 4NQO (slopes of survival curves were 2- to 3-fold steeper), but only one strain was hypersensitive to killing by Sun Lamp radiation. Two strains were tested for mutagenicity. The response of each to the mutagenic action of these agents corresponded to its response to cell killing. Both strains were hypermutable after exposure to 4NQO, but only one showed a higher than normal frequency of mutants induced by simulated sunlight. The finding that nonmalignant fibroblasts from patients with a hereditary variant of malignant melanoma are abnormally susceptible to carcinogen-induced mutations suggests that hypersensitivity to mutagens contributes to risk of melanoma in patients. It also supports the somatic cell mutation hypothesis for the origin of cancer.