Epigenetic Features of Spontaneous Transformation in the NIH 3T3 Line of Mouse Cells

  • H. Rubin
  • Kang Xu
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 57)


There is a longstanding debate in cancer research about the primary cause of malignant cell growth: is cancer the result of genetic events or the outcome of epigenetic processes? The weight of opinion seems to shift with research trends of biology in general. It is, of course, central to the resolution of such a problem that the concepts at issue be defined. Genetic events are of two basic kinds, mutation and chromosome recombination. Mutations result from a change in the sequence of nucleotides in DNA. They are generally assumed to occur at random with a frequency of less than 10−6 per cell division with little or no evidence of specificity1. Chromosome recombination normally occurs in an orderly way in sexual reproduction. It also occurs in disorderly fashion in somatic cells of aging individuals2,3, in tumors4,5 and in cell culture6,7. Except for certain leukemias8, abnormalities in cell chromosome structure or number in common adult cancers show little evidence of a specific causal relation to the origin of the tumor. However, genetic change is conceptually simple and has been vigorously analyzed in this area of molecular biology. Concurrently, there has been a strong shift toward acceptance of genetic change in somatic cells as the cause of most cancers, and at least part of this shift stems from the combination of conceptual simplicity plus the availability of a highly developed molecular technology for genetic analysis.


Label Cell Epigenetic Change Epigenetic Event Focus Formation Chromosome Recombination 
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.


MCDB 402

molecular, cellular and developmental biology medium 402


calf serum


fetal bovine serum


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Rubin
    • 1
  • Kang Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and Virus LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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