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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Title:
Letter from Edward M. Johnson to Joshua Lederberg pdf (177,017 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Edward M. Johnson to Joshua Lederberg
Description:
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (177,017 Bytes)
Date:
1988-05-25 (May 25, 1988)
Creator:
Johnson, Edward M.
Recipient:
Lederberg, Joshua
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Edward M. Johnson.
Relation:
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence F
Box Number: 44
Folder Number: 60
Unique Identifier:
BBBCLH
Accession Number:
104
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1985-1999
Folder: Johnson, Edward M.
Transcript:
(1)
[written in Lederberg's handwriting, EDWARD M. JOHNSON]
[stamped, THE ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT MAY 27 1988]
5-25-88
Dear Dr. Lederberg,
Thank you for your recent note and the reference on the tungsten microprojectiles. Also, thank you again for agreeing to submit our article (Appel et al.; "Asbestos Fibers Mediate . . . ) to PNAS. I want to answer a few of your queries.
We have thought of patenting an asbestos transfection process, but when we brought it up with a couple of companies, none seemed interested. Also, one potential problem might be that we published an abstract on this at the FASEB meeting more than a year ago.
There are a scattering of other papers in the literature regarding use of abrasives or minerals to assist in transfection. You recall the Fraenkel-Conrat papers using carborundum on tobacco leaves. There was also a paper by Singer and Fraenkel-Conrat using Bentonite (Virology 14, 59-65; 1961). I think Bentonite is high in aluminum silicate. George Dubes
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
(2)
published a paper, referred to in our article, on the use of various mineral silicates to enhance uptake of viral RNA into cells. I believe Dubes was actually the first to transfect using calcium phosphate, as well.
There are several ways to explain the synergism with smoking, but nothing very easily testable. The explanation we favor is that different oncogenes (or sets of oncogenes) might be activated by either asbestos or smoking. Each separately must await some additional event(s) to be oncogenic, but together they are sufficient or more nearly so. The precedent is cooperation between myc and ras oncogenes. Of course this is total speculation, but not outrageous. One might expect that mutation by chemical carcinogens through smoking would affect different DNA sequences than mutation by DNA integration following transfection. Tom Fasy (who is a pathologist here and the actual asbestos expert -- my work being primarily on DNA replication; Tom was also at Rockefeller) intends to follow up this work with animal asbestos inhalation experiments using myc and ras oncogenes bound to chrysotile. That would directly demonstrate that transfection with asbestos could cause cancer. As an alternative to inhalation, he is also thinking of intraperitoneal injection since
[END PAGE TWO]
[BEGIN PAGE THREE]
(3)
that would affect the mesothelium.
We have now received the comments of reviewer number 1 (thank you for conveying them), and we eagerly await those of the second reviewer. I realize that you are busy, and we are sincerely grateful for the time you have devoted.
Sincerely,
Edward Johnson
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2007-01-16
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