Effect of Rancid Corn Oil on Some onco/suppressor Gene Expressions in Vivo. A Short-Term Study

Anticancer Res. Jan-Feb 2002;22(1A):225-30.


Autooxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) of edible oils results in the formation of fatty acid hydroperoxides that can undergo further chemical transformations to yield a variety of re-arranged and chain-cleavage products. Since the oxidation products of PUFAs have been reported to have cytotoxic and mutagenic effects, the consumption of rancid oils and fats represents a possible health hazard for the population. Storage of corn oil at room temperature and in the refrigerator for a forty-eight month period resulted in two different qualities of oil samples, which were characterized by UV, titrimetric (peroxide value, acid value) and GC-MS methods. Earlier it was demonstrated that the increase of expression of certain oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes is a method of choice for the early detection of carcinogen exposure. Treatment of CBA/Calpha inbred mice with the two oil samples showed significantly increased expression of the Ha-ras gene in all the investigated organs (liver, lung, kidney, thymus and spleen) of the rancid corn oil-treated animals. Expression of the c-myc and the p53 genes was also increased after the rancid corn oil-treatment in all the organs but the thymus of the mice. The results suggest that rancid oils, rich in omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids, could be involved not only in tumor promotion but in initiation as well.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corn Oil / chemistry
  • Corn Oil / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Genes, myc / drug effects*
  • Genes, p53 / drug effects*
  • Genes, ras / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxides / chemistry
  • Lipid Peroxides / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / biosynthesis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • RNA
  • Corn Oil
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)