Skip to main content


Because of a lapse in government funding, the information on this website may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

The NIH Clinical Center (the research hospital of NIH) is open. For more details about its operating status, please visit

Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at

Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R21CA118397-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Guttenplan, Joseph
Organization: New York University
Project Title: Mutagenicity of Tobacco Smoke in Human Cell CO-Cultures
Fiscal Year: 2007
Back to top


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Tobacco smoking is a major cause of cancers at many sites, particularly the aerodigestive tract. For many years, filter and reduced tar cigarettes have been available, but have not resulted in reduced incidences of smoking-related cancers, because of compensatory smoking behavior. Recently, newer versions of "reduced-risk" cigarettes have been marketed, but their relative carcinogenicities are unknown. Cancer arises through multistage carcinogenesis, which involves the accumulation of genetic damage (such as mutations), over years, until a cell converts to cancer. Current assays for potential carcinogenesis in humans all have certain deficiencies. Few models employ normal human cells and mutagenesis is generally not an endpoint. To better understand risk from potential carcinogens, new model systems that can evaluate such risk are needed. In preliminary studies, we showed that in monolayer co-culture of normal human oral epithelial cells (NOE's) with a lac I rat reporter cell line (BB cells - that contain a lambda-based shuttle vector for detecting mutagenesis), increased mutagenesis induced by benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), relative to BB cells alone. This increased mutagenesis is most likely due to activation of BaP by the NOE's. We hypothesize that co-culturing NOE's with lac I reporter cells will allow detection of mutagenesis that is causally linked to metabolic activation of carcinogens by the normal human oral cells. To validate the model, mutagenesis induced by the two tobacco carcinogens (BaP and nitrosonornicotine) will be investigated. In Aim 1 we will establish and characterize a co- culture model composed of NOE's co-cultured with BB reporter cells. In Aim 2, this model will be used: 1) to compare mutagenesis induced by tobacco smoke condensate (TSC) from conventional cigarettes and recently-introduced "low-risk" cigarettes and 2) to determine inter-individual variation in the metabolism of these TSC's. Since human cells from a variety of organ sites can be grown in culture, the model has potential to become a flexible broad-based system to evaluate carcinogenicity risk of tobacco products in a number of human organs. A third aim will be a pilot study on the levels of cytochrome P- 450's in NOE's with and without the presence of TSC's, using gene expression arrays and confirmation by RT-PCR and western blotting. As NOE's are the very cells that are destined to develop into oral cancers, the model fills a void with the potential of being an organ specific technique to quantify mutagenesis, a major step in carcinogenesis. Clearly, it is preferable to determine their potential risk prospectively, rather than retrospectively.

Back to top


Concentration dependent effects of tobacco particulates from different types of cigarettes on expression of drug metabolizing proteins, and benzo(a)pyrene metabolism in primary normal human oral epithelial cells.
Authors: Sacks P.G. , Zhao Z.L. , Kosinska W. , Fleisher K.E. , Gordon T. , Guttenplan J.B. .
Source: Food And Chemical Toxicology : An International Journal Published For The British Industrial Biological Research Association, 2011 Sep; 49(9), p. 2348-55.
PMID: 21722697
Related Citations

Back to Top