Mice bearing the autosomal recessive mutation 'wasted' (wst/wst) express a disease syndrome characterized by neurologic dysfunction, immunodeficiency, and increased sensitivity to the killing effects of ionizing radiation relative to normal littermates (wst/·) and to parental control mice (BCF1, BALB/c, and C57BL/6). Many of these abnormalities, evident as early as 21 days of age, have been localized to thymic tissues and T-lymphocyte populations. Comparison of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis patterns of proteins from wst/wst and control mouse thymus revealed that an acidic protein with a molecular mass of approximately 30 kDa was consistently expressed at lower levels in wasted mice than in controls. Microsequencing of this protein revealed a sequence of 19 N-terminal amino acids identical to the sequence of murine proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Northern blot analyses of PCNA expression in thymus and spleen demonstrated lower accumulation of PCNA-specific transcripts in wasted mice compared with that in controls. Because PCNA expression is associated with cell cycle progression, the percentages of thymic and splenic cells in each stage of the cell cycle were examined; there were no differences in the cell stage distribution of lymphocytes freshly isolated from wasted mice compared with littermate or parental controls. After activation with concanavalin A, however, splenocytes from wst/wst mice showed a lower percentage of cells in S phase compared with that in controls. Southern blots with PCNA probes showed that the PCNA loci from the wasted mice and their normal littermates have the same restriction maps. While differences in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) priming were obtained, these could be attributed to strain-specific differences in mouse PCNA pseudogenes. These results suggest the presence of an alteration in the pathway leading to PCNA expression in radiation-sensitive tissues of wasted mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research