A role for molecular oxygen in the formation of DNA damage during the reduction of the carcinogen chromium (VI) by glutathione.

Kortenkamp, A., Casadevall, M., Faux, S.P., Jenner, A., Shayer, R.O., Woodbridge, N. and O'Brien, P. (1996) A role for molecular oxygen in the formation of DNA damage during the reduction of the carcinogen chromium (VI) by glutathione. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 329 (2). pp. 199-207. 10.1006/abbi.1996.0209.

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DOI: 10.1006/abbi.1996.0209


Although well-established as carcinogens, the way in which chromium (VI) compounds exert their carcinogenic, mutagenic, and DNA-damaging potential remains obscure. It is clear that inside cells chromium(VI) is activated to its ultimate carcinogenic form by reducing agents including glutathione (GSH). The present study is intended to clarify if Fenton mechanisms are likely to be important in the formation of DNA lesions by chromium(VI) in combination with GSH. In buffer solutions which were treated to remove Fenton-active metal ions as well as in those not further purified, chromate and GSH induced similar numbers of single-strand breaks (SSB) in isolated PM2 DNA. Molecular oxygen was found to be essential for the formation of SSB, but chromium(V) species arising from chromate/GSH, unless activated by oxygen, appeared to be unreactive toward DNA. Upon addition of Mn(II) to solutions of chromium(VI) and GSH a diminution of Mn(II) ESR signals was observed, good evidence for the presence of chromium(IV) species. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in selective ion-monitoring mode and high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, we were able to show that Cr(VI)/GSH failed to induce base modifications typical of hydroxyl radical attack on DNA. Experimental conditions which readily induced SSB gave rise to the formation of chromium-DNA adducts, clearly demonstrating that the generation of these two DNA lesions is not mutually exclusive. We conclude that models which ascribe the induction of chromium-DNA adducts to chromium(V) and the generation of oxidative DNA damage including SSB to hydrogen peroxide are oversimplistic. It is not necessary to invoke a mechanism requiring the presence of added hydrogen peroxide to account for the ability of Cr(VI)/GSH to cause SSB. Our findings suggest that the combination of GSH, molecular oxygen, and chromium(VI) can damage DNA via non-Fenton pathways.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:chromium(VI); chromium–DNA adducts; single-strand breaks; oxidative DNA damage; non-Fenton pathways
Departments, units and centres:Department of Pharmacology > Centre for Toxicology
ID Code:2267
Journal or Publication Title:Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Deposited By:Library Staff
Deposited On:23 Jun 2011 14:55
Last Modified:23 Jun 2011 14:55

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