Molecular Mechanisms of Skin Carcinogenesis Induced by Chemicals and Ionizing Radiation

  • G. T. Bowden
  • M. A. Nelson
  • J. P. Levy
  • J. Finch
  • P. Krieg
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 128)


The progression of target stem cells through a premalignant to a malignant state during either chemical or radiation carcinogenesis is accompanied by a variety of biochemical, cytological, and morphological changes. These phenotypic alterations result in turn from either qualitative alterations in the encoded gene product or changes in the level of expression of the cellular gene. There are three classes of cellular genes that are known to be altered during carcinogenesis and are thought to play a functional role in tumor formation. One of these classes are the cellular protooncogenes (Bishop 1983; Land et al. 1983; Bowden 1985) that are activated by mutation and encode for products that are involved in growth factor signal transduction. Another class are the tumor suppressor genes (Klein 1987) whose products are involved in regulating cellular growth, differentiation, and senescence. During tumor formation these tumor suppressor genes are inactivated, presumably through mutational events. The third class of genes are effector genes (Zarbl et al. 1991) that are regulated by the oncogenes or the tumor suppressor genes and whose altered expression plays a role in induction or maintainence of various tumor phenotypes. Both chemical carcinogens and ionizing radiation are known to induce the types of activating mutations seen in oncogenes and the inactivating mutations observed in tumor suppressor genes. These mutations can lead to structural changes in encoded gene products or loss of normal control of expression of these genes. An important unanswered question is whether these carcinogens directly induce the mutations found in these critical genes or whether the carcinogens are indirectly involved, perhaps in selection for cells containing spontaneously induced target gene mutations.


Okadaic Acid Skin Tumor Chloramphenicol Acetyl Transferase Skin Carcinogenesis Ethyl Carbamate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. T. Bowden
    • 1
  • M. A. Nelson
    • 1
  • J. P. Levy
    • 1
  • J. Finch
    • 1
  • P. Krieg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Arizona Medical SchoolTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Virus ResearchGerman Cancer Research CenterHeidelbergFed. Rep. of Germany

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