LASIOCARPINE, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid derived from Heliotropium lasiocarpium or from Heliotropium europaeum, produces chronic liver damage and cancer in rats and other laboratory animals1-3, and it induces nucleolar "capping"4,5 (Fig. 1). The functional significance of nucleolar "caps" is poorly understood. They are probably related to alterations in DNA-directed RNA synthesis and RNA polymerase activity6-8.
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