J A Williams

Institute of Cancer Research, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

Are you J A Williams?

Claim your profile

Publications (10)34.51 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Differences in the incidence of prostate cancer (CaP) amongst different migrant populations point to causative agents of dietary and/or environmental origin. Prostate tissues were obtained following transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or radical retropubic prostatectomy. After surgery, TURP-derived or tumour-adjacent tissue fragments were minced in warm PFMR-4A medium (37 degrees C) and suspensions pipetted into collagen-coated petri dishes. Non-adherent material was removed by washing with fresh medium after 12 h. Adhered cells subsequently reacted positively with monoclonal antibodies to prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA was also detected in the medium. The genotoxicities of the chemical carcinogens 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b] pyridine (PhIP), its N-hydroxy metabolite (N-OH-PhIP) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) in adherent cell populations from different donors (n=8) were examined. Cells were treated in suspension for 30 min at 37 degrees C in the presence of the DNA repair inhibitors hydroxyurea (HU) and cytosine arabinoside (ara-C). DNA single-strand breaks were detected in cells by the alkaline single cell-gel electrophoresis ('Comet') assay and quantified by measuring comet tail length (CTL) in microm. All three carcinogens induced dose-related increases in CTLs (P<0.0001) in cells from four donors 24 h post-seeding. However, in cells from a further two donors the genotoxic effects of PhIP, N-OH-PhIP and B[a]P were much less apparent after 48 h than after 24 h in culture. After 96 h in culture, cells from these donors appeared to be resistant to the comet-forming activity of the compounds. However, B[a]P-DNA adducts were still measurable by (32)P-postlabelling for up to 14 days following a 24-h exposure to 50 microM B[a]P in adhered cells from another two donors. This study shows that primary cultures of cells derived from the prostate can activate members of two classes of chemical carcinogens. Further development may provide a robust model system in which to investigate the aetiology of CaP.
    Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 02/2002; 5(2):96-104. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heterocyclic amines are mammary carcinogens in rats and their N-hydroxy metabolites are substrates for subsequent metabolic activation by N-acetyltransferases (NAT) and sulfotransferases (SULT) in man. We investigated the expression of these enzymes in human breast tissue and the relationship between NAT genotype and NAT mRNA expression or enzyme activity. Immunohistochemical staining of sections of breast tissue identified expression of NAT1 and NAT2 protein in human mammary epithelial cells, but not in the stroma. We also measured the formation of DNA adducts of the heterocyclic amines 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine in calf thymus DNA after incubation of their promutagenic N-hydroxy metabolites with mammary cytosols prepared from reduction mammoplasty tissue. Experimental observations gained from use of enzyme cofactors and NAT and/or SULT inhibitors on cytosolic enzyme activity, recombinant NAT1 activity and heterocyclic amine-DNA adduct formation suggest that both NAT1 and SULT1A enzymes contribute significantly to the activation of N-hydroxylated heterocyclic amines in mammary tissue. NAT1 mRNA transcript levels were found to be two- to three-fold higher than mRNA transcripts of the NAT2 gene in reduction mammoplasty tissue and mammary epithelial cells. NAT1-specific p-aminobenzoic acid acetylation activity, but not NAT2-specific sulfamethazine acetylation activity, was detectable in mammary cytosols. There was no association apparent between NAT genotype and the levels of NAT mRNA or NAT enzyme activity, or between NAT1 genotype and IQ-DNA adduct formation mediated by mammary cytosols. Western blot analysis of mammary cytosolic protein showed detectable levels of SULT1A1 and SULT1A3.
    Pharmacogenetics 08/2001; 11(5):373-88.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy found in males and one of the most common causes of cancer death. The epidemiology implicates environmental and nutritional factors in the initiation and progression of the disease. Identification of these factors would allow chemoprevention strategies to be tested. Potent mutagenic and carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are produced in cooked meat, and following metabolic activation some of them are strongly associated with prostate carcinogenesis in rodents. Primary cell cultures of human prostate epithelial cells were obtained from patients undergoing transurethral resection of the prostate. Metabolic activation of the cooked food carcinogens 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo- [4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) was examined and resultant DNA damage (single strand breaks) measured using the Comet assay. Increased concentrations of carcinogen were associated with increased DNA damage and comet tail length compared to controls. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2000) 3, 256-258
    Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases 01/2001; 3(4):256-258. · 2.10 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exfoliated cells, isolated from breast milk samples donated by UK-resident women (n=15), were incubated, either immediately or after culture for 7 days, with one of a series of genotoxins, either in the presence or absence of the DNA-repair inhibitors, hydroxyurea (HU), and cytosine arabinoside (ara-C). The numbers of DNA single-strand breaks induced were then assessed as comet tail length (CTL) (microm) using the alkaline single cell-gel electrophoresis ('Comet') assay; cell viability was measured by trypan blue exclusion. The heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) (0.4 mM), 3-amino-1,4-dimethyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole (Trp-P-1) (1.67 mM), 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole (Trp-P-2) (1.77 mM)), a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) (0.36 mM)), a nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (1-nitropyrene (1-NP) (1.84 mM)) and aromatic amines (o-toluidine (0.85 mM), p-chloroaniline (0. 71 mM)) each induced statistically significant (P<0.0001, Mann-Whitney test) increases in median CTLs in breast milk cells from all the donors examined when incubated (30 min, 37 degrees C) in the presence of HU/ara-C. In some cases, these compounds were also active in the absence of the repair inhibitors. There were marked variations in comet formation between donors and between genotoxins. Cell culture appeared to increase the epithelial cell proportion and cultured cells retained their ability to activate genotoxins. The results suggest that breast milk is a valuable source of human mammary cells for the study of the metabolic activation of possible carcinogens.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 11/2000; 470(2):115-24. · 3.90 Impact Factor
  • J A Williams, D H Phillips
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the major cause of cancer death in women worldwide. High penetrance genes account for only 5% of cases, whereas polymorphic low penetrance genes acting in concert with lifestyle/environmental risk factors are likely to account for a much higher proportion. Genotoxic compounds implicated in human breast carcinogenesis include endogenous compounds, estrogens, and dietary or environmental xenobiotics-heterocyclic amides, aromatic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Here we review evidence for a role of mammary-expressed enzymes that metabolically activate and/or detoxify potential genotoxic breast carcinogens: cytochrome P-450s, catechol-O-methyltransferase, epoxide hydrolase, peroxidases, glutathione S-transferases, N-acetyltransferases, sulfotransferases, and other enzymes catalyzing conjugation reactions. This information is particularly relevant in the light of evidence for the presence of genotoxic agents that require metabolic activation in mammary lipid, in nipple aspirates and in breast milk, and for the presence of DNA adducts in human mammary epithelial cells (from which most breast carcinomas originate). The effect of polymorphisms in the genes encoding these enzymes on breast cancer risk are also considered. The evidence for the role of genotoxic carcinogens in the etiology of breast cancer is compelling, but mammary-specific enzyme expression should be taken into account when considering the contribution of polymorphisms to risk.
    Cancer Research 10/2000; 60(17):4667-77. · 8.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological evidence suggests a link between meat consumption and prostate cancer. In this study, benign prostatic hyperplasia tissues, obtained by transurethral resection or radical retropubic prostatectomy from UK-resident individuals (n = 18), were examined for CYP1 expression and for their ability, in short-term organ culture, to metabolically activate carcinogens found in cooked meat. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis of CYP1 expression detected CYP1A2 mRNA transcripts in the prostates of four individuals, as well as mRNA transcripts from CYP1A1 and CYP1B1. The compounds tested for metabolic activation were 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4, 5-b]pyridine (PhIP; 500 microM, n = 9) and its metabolite N:-hydroxy PhIP (20 microM, n = 8), 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ; 500 microM, n = 6) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P; 50 microM, n = 5). After incubation (PFMR medium, 22 h, 37 degrees C), DNA was isolated from tissue fragments and DNA adducts were detected and quantified by (32)P-postlabelling analysis. DNA adduct formation was detected in all samples incubated with PhIP (mean, adducts per 10(8) nucleotides), N:-hydroxy-PhIP (2736/10(8)) or B[a]P (1/10(8)). IQ-DNA adducts were detected in 5/6 tissues (mean, 1/10(8)). The CYP1 inhibitor alpha-naphthoflavone (10 microM) reduced B[a]P-DNA adduct formation in tissues from two individuals by 96 and 64%, respectively. This pilot study shows that human prostate tissue can metabolically activate 'cooked meat' carcinogens, a process that could contribute to prostate cancer development.
    Carcinogenesis 10/2000; 21(9):1683-9. · 5.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most human mammary carcinomas originate in the epithelial cells of the breast ducts. A potential role of heterocyclic amines (HAs) in the aetiology of this disease has led us to investigate peroxidase-catalysed and stromal (non-epithelial) activation of the HA 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), which may subsequently lead to DNA damage in the adjacent human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). HAs are formed when proteinaceous foods are cooked at high temperature and some, but not all, can cause mammary tumours in rats. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) and lactoperoxidase (LPO) are peroxidase enzymes present in breast secretions. (32)P-post-labelling analysis showed that IQ-DNA adducts were formed after co-incubation of IQ (500 microM) with calf thymus DNA, hydrogen peroxide and either bovine LPO or horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The major HRP-mediated IQ-DNA adduct co-migrated on TLC and HPLC with the major adduct formed in HMECs, suggesting a common reactive intermediate (nitrenium ion). IQ-DNA adducts were also formed in extracellular DNA when phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated neutrophils (which activate IQ via MPO) were co-incubated with IQ (500 microM) and extracellular plasmid (4 +/- 1 adducts/10(8) nucleotides) or calf thymus DNA (6 +/- 2). Mean adduct formation was five to seven times greater in neutrophil DNA (31 +/- 20). Primary cultures of human mammary fibroblasts or epithelial cells isolated from reduction mammoplasty tissues (n = 4 individuals) were incubated with IQ (500 microM) and formed 2.5 and 14.8 adducts/10(8) nucleotides (mean values), respectively. Our results indicate the possible contribution of stromal cells and breast peroxidases to the metabolic activation of carcinogens in the mammary gland.
    Mutagenesis 04/2000; 15(2):149-54. · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genotoxic agents of environmental or dietary origin may play a role in breast cancer initiation. The ability of extracts of human milk to cause mutations in S. typhimurium TA1538 and YG1019 and to induce micronuclei and DNA strand breaks in MCL-5 cells was investigated. Twenty samples from different donors were analysed and of these, 6 were adjudged to produce positive mutagenic response in one or both bacterial strains. The same samples also induced significant micronucleus formation in MCL-5 cells. In the comet assay, 13/20 samples caused DNA strand breaks in MCL-5 cells. Viable exfoliated breast cells were recovered from fresh milk samples and the ability of milk extracts to cause DNA damage in these cells was demonstrated. The results show that human milk can contain components capable of causing genotoxic damage in test systems and in human breast cells, events that may be significant in the initiation of breast cancer
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/1999; 259(2):319-26. · 2.28 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The heterocyclic amine 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) is a potent mutagen and is a mammary carcinogen in rodents. In man, hepatic activation is carried out by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A2 and the ultimate DNA-reactive species is thought to be a nitrenium ion formed via an acetoxy ester of an exocyclic amino group. Because most human breast tumours are ductal in origin, we investigated the ability of cell types present in the mammary gland (breast epithelial cells and neutrophils present in milk) to activate IQ to DNA-binding species using 32P-postlabelling. Phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated neutrophils produced a similar pattern of IQ-DNA adducts to that produced by human mammary epithelial cells. Adduct formation in stimulated neutrophils was inhibited 80% by the myeloperoxidase inhibitor sodium azide (1 mM) but was not affected by proadifen (100 microM), indomethacin (100 microM), or eicosatetraynoic acid (100 microM), inhibitors of cytochrome P450, prostaglandin synthetase, and lipoxygenase, respectively. Similar experiments in human mammary epithelial cells showed no azide inhibition of IQ-DNA adduct formation. Analysis of gene expression by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that CYP1A1 and CYP1B1, but not CYP1A2, were expressed at detectable levels in untreated mammary epithelial cells, whereas in neutrophils cytochrome P450 expression was confined to low levels of CYP1A1. In cultured epithelial cells, IQ-DNA adduct formation and CYP1A1, but not CYP1B1 expression were induced threefold by benz[a]anthracene treatment; IQ-DNA adduct formation was inhibited by alpha-naphthoflavone. Our results indicate possible mechanisms for the metabolic activation of dietary carcinogens in the human breast.
    Pharmacogenetics 01/1999; 8(6):519-28.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The heterocyclic amines, 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), 2-amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (MeIQ) and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) are pyrolysis products formed when meat is cooked and are rodent mammary carcinogens. They are thought to be metabolically activated by N-hydroxylation, catalysed by cytochrome P450 (CYP), followed by O-acetylation catalysed by N-acetyltransferases. Primary cultures of human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs) prepared from up to 26 individuals for each compound, were treated with IQ, MeIQ, or PhIP (500 microM) or with N-hydroxy-2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (N-OH-PhIP) or N-hydroxy-2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (N-OH-IQ) (20 microM) and the levels of adduct formation in their DNA analysed by 32P-post-labelling. In order to investigate whether pharmacogenetic polymorphisms influence DNA adduct formation, the NAT2 genotype of each individual was determined by a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method that distinguishes between the wild-type and four variant alleles. Presence of two variant alleles designates a slow NAT2 acetylator, whereas individuals with one or two wild-type alleles are designated fast NAT2 acetylators. Interindividual variations in total DNA adduct levels ranged for IQ from 0.64-63.1 DNA adducts per 10(8) nucleotides (mean 7.80), for MeIQ from 1.99-17.8 (mean 6.63), for PhIP from 0.13-4.0 (mean 0.96), for N-OH-PhIP from 6.32-497 (mean 176) and for N-OH-IQ from 0.92-30.6 (mean 9.24). The higher adduct levels observed in cells treated with the N-OH metabolites suggests that N-hydroxylation is the rate-limiting step in HMECs and this may be due to low CYP levels. In contrast, the Phase II reaction catalysed by N-acetyltransferases is probably the major step in the metabolic activation of heterocyclic amines that occurs in the breast. Higher mean levels of heterocyclic amine-DNA adduct formation were detected in the cells of NAT2 fast acetylators compared with slow acetylators, with mean adduct levels per 10(8) nucleotides following IQ treatment, of 12.74 and 3.57 respectively, following PhIP treatment, of 1.20 and 0.74, respectively, following MeIQ treatment, of 7.90 and 5.08, respectively and following N-OH-PhIP-treatment, of 243.1 and 130.0, respectively. However, due to the large variations in adduct levels, these differences in mean values were not statistically significant with the limited number of individuals studied. This appears to be the first pilot study to demonstrate interindividual variations in the metabolic activation of heterocyclic amines and their metabolic intermediates in primary cultures of HMECs in vitro.
    Carcinogenesis 06/1998; 19(5):873-9. · 5.64 Impact Factor