Growth-related enzyme activities in crypt compartments during rat colon carcinogenesis

S. A. Lamprecht*, B. Schwartz, A. Avigdor, R. Guberman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The activities of the growth-related enzymes ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and casein kinase II (CK-II) were assayed along the colon crypt axis in a precise temporal sequence following administration of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) to male rats. The time course of events monitored in colonic cell populations sequentially harvested by a scraping procedure shows that the potent carcinogenic insult induces an early and late ODC activity peak: the distinct biphasic response of the decarboxylase was observed in all colonic crypt compartments. The activity gradient of CK-II was markedly altered in DMH-treated cell populations: brisk activity of the kinase was observed in the upper crypt zone, the preserve of the mature, non-dividing colonocyte. The enhanced responses of ODC and of CK-II to DMH preceded the actual polyp and tumor formation. The polycations spermine and spermidine, bioactive molecules formed in the ODC-controlled polyamine pathway, were shown to markedly activate colonic CK-II. This observations suggests that ODC and CK-II, enzymes with different catalytic purposes, crosstalk within the colonic crypt continuum. The present findings indicate that the differentiation arrest of colonic cells and their misplacement in forbidden zones of the crypt axis during DMH-induced carcinogenesis is accompanied by early alterations in the activity and topology of disparate enzymes which are part of the orderly growth program of the normal colonic cell.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)773-778
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Casein kinases
  • Colon tumors
  • Ornithine decarboxylase


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