Effects of overexpression of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) on growth control and oncogene-induced cell transformation

Oncogene. 1991 May;6(5):739-43.


The enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) has been implicated in the control of cell growth, differentiation and tumor promotion. To further elucidate its precise role a murine ODC cDNA was inserted into the retrovirus-derived vector pMV7 and retrovirus-like particles were used to infect NIH3T3 and rat 6(R6) fibroblasts. Derivatives were obtained that stably express a 5-40 fold increase in ODC enzyme activity. Despite these high levels of enzyme activity the cells retained a normal morphology and displayed no major changes in growth properties in monolayer culture or in agar suspension. On the other hand, R6 cells that expressed high levels of ODC displayed a marked increase in susceptibility to morphologic transformation by an activated c-H-ras oncogene. These results provide the first evidence that ODC can cooperate with an activated oncogene in the process of cell transformation. Although the mechanism is not known, these findings may be relevant to the multistage carcinogenic process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Clone Cells
  • Genes, ras*
  • Mice
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / genetics*
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Plasmids
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Rats
  • Transfection


  • RNA
  • Ornithine Decarboxylase