Ubiquitin Cytochemical Changes During Azaserine-Initiated Pancreatic Carcinogenesis
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The ubiquitin (Ub)- proteasome proteolytic system is highly selective, and the specific proteins involved in cell division, growth, activation, signaling and transcription are degraded at different rate depending on the physio-pathological state of the cell. Ubiquitination serves first of all as a signal for protein degradation of short-lived and abnormal proteins under several stressful conditions. The immunocytochemical localization of Ub in some malignant tumours has recently been presented and differences in Ub expression has been observed during malignant transformation. Change in the level of Ub and Ub-conjugated proteins might reflect a higher metabolic-catabolic ratio in neoplastic cells. Most studies have been focused on the malignant stage of tumour progression, and only a few papers have dealt with the change in Ub and Ub-protein conjugates level during the whole progression. To address this problem, we applied an azaserine-induced pancreatic carcinogenesis model, in which premalignant and malignant stages were investigated throughout the progression. The level of Ub immunoreactivity was measured in nucleus and cytoplasm by electron microscopic immunocytochemical and morphometrical methods. We found a significant increase of Ub level in the nucleus and the cytoplasmic area in premalignant atypical acinar cell nodule (AACN) cells and in malignant adenocarcinoma in situ (CIS) cells at month 20 after initiation.
KeywordsUbiquitin immunocytochemistry morphometry carcinogenesis tumour progression
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