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1.  Studies on Brahma rasayana in male swiss albino mice: Chromosomal aberrations and sperm abnormalities 
Ayurveda, the Indian holistic healthcare system encompasses traditional medicines with a principle of creating harmony and maintaining balance within the natural rhythms of the body. Rasayana is one of the branches of Ayurveda frequently used as rejuvenant therapy to overcome many discomforts and prevent diseases. It has been reported that rasayanas have immunomodulatory, antioxidant and antitumor functions. However, the genotoxic potential of many rasayanas remains to be evaluated. The present study was undertaken to assess the role of Brahma rasayana(BR) on genotoxicity in vivo in a mouse test system. The older mice (9 months) were orally fed with rasayana for 8 weeks. The treated groups showed no signs of dose-dependent toxicity at the dosage levels tested. The body weight loss/gain and feed consumption were unaffected at tested doses. Furthermore, sperm abnormalities and chromosomal aberrations were insignificant in the treatment group when compared to controls. However, there was a marginal increase in sperm count in the BR treated animals. These findings clearly indicate that there are no observed adverse genotoxic effects elicited by BR in experimental animals such as mice.
doi:10.4103/0975-9476.59826
PMCID: PMC3149391  PMID: 21829300
Aging; Brahma rasayana; chromosomal aberrations; genotoxicity; sperm abnormalities
2.  In Vivo Assessment of Genotoxic, Antigenotoxic and Anticarcinogenic Activities of Solanum lycocarpum Fruits Glycoalkaloidic Extract 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e111999.
The fruits of Solanum lycocarpum, known as wolf-fruit, are used in folk medicine, and because of that we have evaluated both the genotoxic potential of its glycoalkaloidic extract (SL) and its influence on the genotoxicity induced by methyl methanesulfonate. Furthermore, the potential blocking effect of SL intake in the initial stage of colon carcinogenesis in Wistar rats was investigated in a short-term (4-week) bioassay using aberrant crypt foci (ACF) as biomarker. The genotoxic potential was evaluated using the Swiss mice peripheral blood micronucleus test. The animals were treated with different doses of SL (15, 30 and 60 mg/kg b.w.) for 14 days, and the peripheral blood samples were collected at 48 h, 7 days and 14 days after starting the treatment. For antigenotoxicity assessment, MMS was administered on the 14th day, and after 24 h the harvesting of bone marrow and liver cells was performed, for the micronucleus and comet assays, respectively. In the ACF assay, male Wistar rats were given four subcutaneous injections of the carcinogen 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH, 40 mg/kg b.w.), twice a week, during two weeks to induce ACF. The treatment with SL (15, 30 and 60 mg/kg b.w.) was given for four weeks during and after carcinogen treatment to investigate the potential beneficial effects of SL on DMH-induced ACF. The results demonstrated that SL was not genotoxic in the mouse micronucleus test. In animals treated with SL and MMS, the frequencies of micronucleus and extensions of DNA damage were significantly reduced in comparison with the animals receiving only MMS. Regarding the ACF assay, SL significantly reduced the frequency of ACF induced by DMH.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111999
PMCID: PMC4236050  PMID: 25405606
3.  Hyperactivation of PARP Triggers Nonhomologous End-Joining in Repair-Deficient Mouse Fibroblasts 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49301.
Regulation of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) synthesis and turnover is critical to determining cell fate after genotoxic stress. Hyperactivation of PAR synthesis by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) occurs when cells deficient in DNA repair are exposed to genotoxic agents; however, the function of this hyperactivation has not been adequately explained. Here, we examine PAR synthesis in mouse fibroblasts deficient in the base excision repair enzyme DNA polymerase β (pol β). The extent and duration of PARP-1 activation was measured after exposure to either the DNA alkylating agent, methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), or to low energy laser-induced DNA damage. There was strong DNA damage-induced hyperactivation of PARP-1 in pol β nullcells, but not in wild-type cells. In the case of MMS treatment, PAR synthesis did not lead to cell death in the pol β null cells, but instead resulted in increased PARylation of the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) protein Ku70 and increased association of Ku70 with PARP-1. Inhibition of the NHEJ factor DNA-PK, under conditions of MMS-induced PARP-1 hyperactivation, enhanced necrotic cell death. These data suggest that PARP-1 hyperactivation is a protective mechanism triggering the classical-NHEJ DNA repair pathway when the primary alkylated base damage repair pathway is compromised.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049301
PMCID: PMC3492265  PMID: 23145148
4.  Induction of Homologous Recombination Following in utero Exposure to DNA-Damaging Agents 
DNA repair  2013;12(11):912-921.
Much of our understanding of homologous recombination, as well as the development of the working models for these processes, has been derived from extensive work in model organisms, such as yeast and fruit flies, and mammalian systems by studying the repair of induced double strand breaks or repair following exposure to genotoxic agents in vitro. We therefore set out to expand this in vitro work to ask whether DNA-damaging agents with varying modes of action could induce somatic change in an in vivo mouse model of homologous recombination. We exposed pregnant dams to DNA-damaging agents, conferring a variety of lesions at a specific time in embryo development. To monitor homologous recombination frequency, we used the well-established retinal pigment epithelium pink-eyed unstable assay. Homologous recombination resulting in the deletion of a duplicated 70 kb fragment in the coding region of the Oca2 gene renders this gene functional and can be visualized as a pigmented eyespot in the retinal pigment epithelium. We observed an increased frequency of pigmented eyespots in resultant litters following exposure to cisplatin, methyl methanesulfonate, ethyl methanesulfonate, 3-aminobenzamide, bleomycin, and etoposide with a contrasting decrease in the frequency of detectable reversion events following camptothecin and hydroxyurea exposure. The somatic genomic rearrangements that result from such a wide variety of differently acting damaging agents implies long-term potential effects from even short-term in utero exposures.
doi:10.1016/j.dnarep.2013.08.005
PMCID: PMC4059048  PMID: 24029142
Homologous recombination; DNA damaging agents; mouse; pink-eyed unstable; in utero exposure; in vivo
5.  Up-regulation of base excision repair correlates with enhanced protection against a DNA damaging agent in mouse cell lines. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1998;26(8):2001-2007.
DNA polymerase beta is required in mammalian cells for the predominant pathway of base excision repair involving single nucleotide gap filling DNA synthesis. Here we examine the relationship between oxidative stress, cellular levels of DNA polymerase beta and base excision repair capacity in vitro , using mouse monocytes and either wild-type mouse fibroblasts or those deleted of the DNA polymerase beta gene. Treatment with an oxidative stress-inducing agent such as hydrogen peroxide, 3-morpholinosydnonimine, xanthine/xanthine oxidase or lipopolysaccharide was found to increase the level of DNA polymerase beta in both monocytes and fibroblasts. Base excision repair capacity in vitro , as measured in crude cell extracts, was also increased by lipopolysaccharide treatment in both cell types. In monocytes lipopolysaccharide-mediated up-regulation of the base excision repair system correlated with increased resistance to the monofunctional DNA alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate. By making use of a quantitative PCR assay to detect lesions in genomic DNA we show that lipopolysaccharide treatment of fibroblast cells reduces the incidence of spontaneous DNA lesions. This effect may be due to the enhanced DNA polymerase beta-dependent base excision repair capacity of the cells, because a similar decrease in DNA lesions was not observed in cells deficient in base excision repair by virtue of DNA polymerase beta gene deletion. Similarly, fibroblasts treated with lipopolysaccharide were more resistant to methyl methanesulfonate than untreated cells. This effect was not observed in cells deleted of the DNA polymerase beta gene. These results suggest that the DNA polymerase beta-dependent base excision repair pathway can be up-regulated by oxidative stress-inducing agents in mouse cell lines.
PMCID: PMC147493  PMID: 9518496
6.  XRCC1 Deficiency Sensitizes Human Lung Epithelial Cells to Genotoxicity by Crocidolite Asbestos and Libby Amphibole 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2010;118(12):1707-1713.
Background: Asbestos induces DNA and chromosomal damage, but the DNA repair pathways protecting human cells against its genotoxicity are largely unknown. Polymorphisms in XRCC1 have been associated with altered susceptibility to asbestos-related diseases. However, it is unclear whether oxidative DNA damage repaired by XRCC1 contributes to asbestos-induced chromosomal damage.
Objectives: We sought to examine the importance of XRCC1 in protection against genotoxic effects of crocidolite and Libby amphibole asbestos.
Methods: We developed a genetic model of XRCC1 deficiency in human lung epithelial H460 cells and evaluated genotoxic responses to carcinogenic fibers (crocidolite asbestos, Libby amphibole) and nongenotoxic materials (wollastonite, titanium dioxide).
Results: XRCC1 knockdown sensitized cells to the clastogenic and cytotoxic effects of oxidants [hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), bleomycin] but not to the nonoxidant paclitaxel. XRCC1 knockdown strongly enhanced genotoxicity of amphibole fibers as evidenced by elevated formation of clastogenic micronuclei. Crocidolite induced primarily clastogenic micronuclei, whereas Libby amphibole induced both clastogenic and aneugenic micronuclei. Crocidolite and bleomycin were potent inducers of nuclear buds, which were enhanced by XRCC1 deficiency. Libby amphibole and H2O2 did not induce nuclear buds, irrespective of XRCC1 status. Crocidolite and Libby amphibole similarly activated the p53 pathway.
Conclusions: Oxidative DNA damage repaired by XRCC1 (oxidized bases, single-strand breaks) is a major cause of chromosomal breaks induced by crocidolite and Libby amphibole. Nuclear buds are a novel biomarker of genetic damage induced by exposure to crocidolite asbestos, which we suggest are associated with clustered DNA damage. These results provide mechanistic evidence for the epidemiological association between XRCC1 polymorphisms and susceptibility to asbestos-related disease.
Editor's Summary
Pathways involved in the repair of asbestos-induced DNA damage are largely unknown, but XRCC1 polymorphisms that may influence the efficacy of DNA repair have been associated with susceptibility to asbestos-related diseases. Pietruska et al. (p. 1707) examined the role of XRCC1 in genotoxic effects of crocidolite and Libby amphibole asbestos in normal and XRCC1-deficient human lung epithelial H460 cells. The authors report that oxidative DNA damage, including oxidized bases and single-strand breaks, was increased following asbestos exposure in XRCC1-deficient cells compared with control cells, and was a major cause of chromosomal breaks induced by crocidolite and Libby amphibole. Nuclear buds, a possible marker of clustered DNA damage, were induced by crocidolite asbestos but not Libby amphibole. The authors conclude that their findings provide mechanistic support for epidemiologic evidence linking XRCC1 polymorphisms and susceptibility to asbestos-related disease.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1002312
PMCID: PMC3205592  PMID: 20705543
asbestos; crocidolite; DNA breaks; DNA repair; Libby amphibole; micronuclei; nuclear buds; XRCC1
7.  Is the Comet Assay a Sensitive Procedure for Detecting Genotoxicity? 
Journal of Nucleic Acids  2010;2010:541050.
Although the Comet assay, a procedure for quantitating DNA damage in mammalian cells, is considered sensitive, it has never been ascertained that its sensitivity is higher than the sensitivity of other genotoxicity assays in mammalian cells. To determine whether the power of the Comet assay to detect a low level of genotoxic potential is superior to those of other genotoxicity assays in mammalian cells, we compared the results of Comet assay with those of micronucleus test (MN test). WTK1 human lymphoblastoid cells were exposed to methyl nitrosourea (MNU), ethyl nitrosourea (ENU), methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), bleomycin (BLM), or UVC. In Comet assay, cells were exposed to each mutagen with (Comet assay/araC) and without (Comet assay) DNA repair inhibitors (araC and hydroxyurea). Furthermore, acellular Comet assay (acellular assay) was performed to determine how single-strand breaks (SSBs) as the initial damage contributes to DNA migration and/or to micronucleus formation. The lowest genotoxic dose (LGD), which is defined as the lowest dose at which each mutagen causes a positive response on each genotoxicity assay, was used to compare the power of the Comet assay to detect a low level of genotoxic potential and that of MN test; that is, a low LGD indicates a high power. Results are summarized as follows: (1) for all mutagens studied, LGDs were MN test ≦ Comet assay; (2) except for BLM, LGDs were Comet assay/araC ≦ MN test; (3) except for UVC and MNU, LGDs were acellular assay ≦ Comet assay/araC ≦ MN test ≦ Comet assay. The following is suggested by the present findings: (1) LGD in the Comet assay is higher than that in MN test, which suggests that the power of the MN test to detect a low level of genotoxic potential is superior to that of the Comet assay; (2) for the studied mutagens, all assays were able to detect all mutagens correctly, which suggests that the sensitivity of the Comet assay and that of the MN test were exactly identical; (3) the power of the Comet assay to detect a low level of genotoxic potential can be elevated to a level higher than that of MN test by using DNA resynthesis inhibitors, such as araC and HU.
doi:10.4061/2010/541050
PMCID: PMC2967831  PMID: 21052491
8.  Comparative Study of the Clastogenicity of Functionalized and Non-functionalized Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes in Bone Marrow Cells of Swiss-Webster Mice 
Environmental toxicology  2010;25(6):608-621.
The development of nanotechnologies may lead to environmental release of nanomaterials that are potentially harmful to human health. Among the nanomaterials, multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are already commercialized in various products which can be in direct contact with populations. However, few studies address their potential toxicity. Although a few reports on the cytotoxicity of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been published, very little is known about their toxicity or genotoxicity in mammalian cells. We have for the first time compared the clastogenic/genotoxic potential of functionalized and non-functionalized MWCNTs in bone marrow cells of Swiss-Webster mice; using mitotic index (MI), chromosome aberrations (CA), micronuclei (MN) formation, and DNA damage in leukocytes as toxicologic endpoints. Six groups of five male mice, each weighing approximately 30 ± 2 g, were administered intraperitoneally, once a day for five days with doses of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, mg/kg body weight (BW) of functionalized and non-functionalized MWCNTs. Four vehicle control groups (negative) and a positive control group (carbon black) were also made of 5 mice each. Chromosome and micronuclei from bone marrow cells and comet slides from leukocytes were examined following standard protocols. The results demonstrated that MWCNTs exposure significantly increased (p<0.05) the number of structural chromosomal aberrations, the frequency of micro-nucleated cells and the level of DNA damage, and decreased the mitotic index in treated groups compared to control groups. MWCNTs were shown to be toxic at sufficiently high concentrations, however purified functionalized MWCNTs had a higher clastogenic/genotoxic potential compared to non-functionalized form of MWCNT. The results of our study suggest that exposure to MWCNT has the potential to cause genetic damage. Hence, careful monitoring should be done with respect to designing/synthesing biocompatible carbon nanomaterials. Further characterization of their systemic toxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity is also essential.
doi:10.1002/tox.20621
PMCID: PMC2944913  PMID: 20549644
multiwalled carbon nanotubes; bone marrow cells; leukocytes; Swiss-Webster mice; chromosomal aberrations; micronucleus formation; mitotic index; Comet assay; DNA damage
9.  Repression of mutagenesis by Rad51D-mediated homologous recombination 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;34(5):1358-1368.
Homologous recombinational repair (HRR) restores chromatid breaks arising during DNA replication and prevents chromosomal rearrangements that can occur from the misrepair of such breaks. In vertebrates, five Rad51 paralogs are identified that contribute in a nonessential but critical manner to HRR proficiency. We constructed and characterized a knockout of the paralog Rad51D in widely studied CHO cells. The rad51d mutant (clone 51D1) displays sensitivity to a diverse spectrum of induced DNA damage including γ-rays, ultraviolet (UV)-C radiation, and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), indicating the broad relevance of HRR to genotoxicity. Spontaneous chromatid breaks/gaps and isochromatid breaks are elevated 3- to 12-fold, but the chromosome number distribution remains unchanged. Most importantly, 51D1 cells exhibit a 12-fold-increased rate of hprt mutation, as well as 4- to 10-fold increased rates of gene amplification at the dhfr and CAD loci, respectively. Xrcc3 irs1SF cells from the same parental CHO line show similarly elevated mutagenesis at these three loci. Collectively, these results confirm the a priori expectation that HRR acts in an error-free manner to repress three classes of genetic alterations (chromosomal aberrations, loss of gene function and increased gene expression), all of which are associated with carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkl020
PMCID: PMC1390685  PMID: 16522646
10.  Comparative effect of Navayasa Rasayana Leha and Medhya Rasayana tablet along with Dhatryadhyo Lepa in Ekkakushta (psoriasis) 
Ayu  2013;34(3):243-248.
All skin diseases can be included under the umbrella of Kushta Roga. Ekkakushta is a variety of Kshudra Kushtha with dominancy of Vata and Kapha Doshas. It is characterized by symptoms like- Aswedanam, Mahavastum, Matsyashakalopamam, etc., these characteristic features has a striking similarity with Psoriasis. It is a papulosqaumous disorder of the skin, characterized by sharply defined erythmatosqaumous lesion. Due to its chronic and recurrent nature, it has a great impact on the quality of life of the patients. The present study was aimed to compare the effect of Navayasa Rasayana Leha and Medhya Rasayana tablet along with Dhatryadhyo Lepa in patients of Ekkakushta (psoriasis). For this study, the selected patients were randomly divided into two groups. Koshtha Shuddhi was done by Eranda Bruhstha Haritaki (6 g-at night with Ushnodaka) in patients of both the groups for 3 days before starting the treatment. Total 111 patients were selected for present study. Patients of group A (45 patients) were given “Navayasa Rasayana Leha” and “Dhatryadhyo Lepa” for external application. Stress is a very well known precipitating factor of Psoriasis. Hence, to study the efficacy of Medhya Rasayana drugs, patients of group B (49 patients) were given Medhya Rasayana tablet along with the external application of Dhatryadhyo Lepa. The duration of the study was 3 months with follow up for one month. Both the groups showed highly significant results in all signs, symptoms and other parameters. Navayasa Rasayana Leha and Medhya Rasayana tablet along with Dhatryadhyo Lepa can be used effectively for the treatment of Ekkakushta.
doi:10.4103/0974-8520.123103
PMCID: PMC3902587  PMID: 24501516
Ekkakushta; Psoriasis; Navayasa Rasayana Leha; Dhatryadhyo Lepa; Medhya Rasayana tablet
11.  Alkylation Base Damage Is Converted into Repairable Double-Strand Breaks and Complex Intermediates in G2 Cells Lacking AP Endonuclease 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(4):e1002059.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are potent sources of genome instability. While there is considerable genetic and molecular information about the disposition of direct DSBs and breaks that arise during replication, relatively little is known about DSBs derived during processing of single-strand lesions, especially for the case of single-strand breaks (SSBs) with 3′-blocked termini generated in vivo. Using our recently developed assay for detecting end-processing at random DSBs in budding yeast, we show that single-strand lesions produced by the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) can generate DSBs in G2-arrested cells, i.e., S-phase independent. These derived DSBs were observed in apn1/2 endonuclease mutants and resulted from aborted base excision repair leading to 3′ blocked single-strand breaks following the creation of abasic (AP) sites. DSB formation was reduced by additional mutations that affect processing of AP sites including ntg1, ntg2, and, unexpectedly, ogg1, or by a lack of AP sites due to deletion of the MAG1 glycosylase gene. Similar to direct DSBs, the derived DSBs were subject to MRX (Mre11, Rad50, Xrs2)-determined resection and relied upon the recombinational repair genes RAD51, RAD52, as well as on the MCD1 cohesin gene, for repair. In addition, we identified a novel DNA intermediate, detected as slow-moving chromosomal DNA (SMD) in pulsed field electrophoresis gels shortly after MMS exposure in apn1/2 cells. The SMD requires nicked AP sites, but is independent of resection/recombination processes, suggesting that it is a novel structure generated during processing of 3′-blocked SSBs. Collectively, this study provides new insights into the potential consequences of alkylation base damage in vivo, including creation of novel structures as well as generation and repair of DSBs in nonreplicating cells.
Author Summary
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are an important source of genome instability that can lead to severe biological consequences including tumorigenesis and cell death. Although much is known about DSBs induced directly by ionizing radiation and radiomimetic cancer drugs, there is a relative dearth of information about the formation of derived DSBs that arise from processing of single-strand lesions. Since as many as 10,000–200,000 single-strand lesions have been estimated to occur each day in mammalian cells, conversion of even a small percentage of such lesions to DSBs could dramatically affect genome stability. Here we addressed the mechanism of formation and repair of derived DSBs in vivo during the processing of DNA methylation damage in yeast that are defective in base excision repair (BER) due to a lack of AP endonucleases. Armed with a technique developed in our lab that detects resection at DSBs, a first step in DSB repair, we demonstrated formation of DSBs in G2 cells and the role of recombinational repair in subsequent chromosome restitution. Furthermore, we have identified a novel repair intermediate that can be generated if abasic sites are nicked by AP lyases, providing additional insights into the processing of 3′-blocked groups at single-strand breaks.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002059
PMCID: PMC3084215  PMID: 21552545
12.  Effects of melatonin on DNA damage induced by cyclophosphamide in rats 
The antioxidant and free radical scavenger properties of melatonin have been well described in the literature. In this study, our objective was to determine the protective effect of the pineal gland hormone against the DNA damage induced by cyclophosphamide (CP), an anti-tumor agent that is widely applied in clinical practice. DNA damage was induced in rats by a single intraperitoneal injection of CP (20 or 50 mg/kg). Animals received melatonin during the dark period for 15 days (1 mg/kg in the drinking water). Rat bone marrow cells were used for the determination of chromosomal aberrations and of formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase enzyme (Fpg)-sensitive sites by the comet technique and of Xpf mRNA expression by qRT-PCR. The number (mean ± SE) of chromosomal aberrations in pinealectomized (PINX) animals treated with melatonin and CP (2.50 ± 0.50/100 cells) was lower than that obtained for PINX animals injected with CP (12 ± 1.8/100 cells), thus showing a reduction of 85.8% in the number of chromosomal aberrations. This melatonin-mediated protection was also observed when oxidative lesions were analyzed by the Fpg-sensitive assay, both 24 and 48 h after CP administration. The expression of Xpf mRNA, which is involved in the DNA nucleotide excision repair machinery, was up-regulated by melatonin. The results indicate that melatonin is able to protect bone marrow cells by completely blocking CP-induced chromosome aberrations. Therefore, melatonin administration could be an alternative and effective treatment during chemotherapy.
doi:10.1590/1414-431X20122230
PMCID: PMC3854377  PMID: 23471360
Melatonin; Cyclophosphamide; Chromosomal aberration; DNA fragmentation; Comet assay; Xpf expression
13.  Role of DNA repair inhibition in lead- and cadmium-induced genotoxicity: a review. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  1994;102(Suppl 3):45-50.
Compounds of lead and cadmium have been shown to be carcinogenic to humans and experimental animals. However, the underlying mechanisms are still not understood. In mammalian cells in culture, lead(II) is weakly mutagenic after long incubation times and generates DNA strand breaks only after treatment with high, toxic doses. Cadmium(II) induces DNA strand breaks and chromosomal aberrations, but its mutagenic potential is rather weak. However, both metals exert pronounced indirect genotoxic effects. Lead(II) is comutagenic towards UV and N-methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and enhances the number of UV-induced sister chromatid exchanges in V79 Chinese hamster cells. With regard to DNA repair, lead(II) causes an accumulation of DNA strand breaks after UV-irradiation in HeLa cells, indicating an interference with the polymerization or ligation step in excision repair. Cadmium(II) enhances the mutagenicity of UV light in V79 Chinese hamster cells and an increased sensitivity toward UV light is observed in various rodent and human cell lines. Furthermore, an inhibition of unscheduled DNA synthesis after UV-irradiation and a partial inhibition of the removal of UV-induced DNA lesions has been shown. For both metals, the indirect genotoxic effects are observed at low, nontoxic concentrations, suggesting that an interference with DNA repair processes may be predominant at biologically relevant concentrations. This might also explain the conflicting results of epidemiological studies obtained for both metals. Possible mechanisms of repair inhibition are discussed.
PMCID: PMC1567390  PMID: 7843136
14.  Requirement of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae APN1 Gene for the Repair of Mitochondrial DNA Alkylation Damage 
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae APN1 gene that participates in base excision repair has been localized both in the nucleus and the mitochondria. APN1 deficient cells (apn1Δ) show increased mutation frequencies in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) suggesting that APN1 is also important for mtDNA stability. To understand APN1-dependent mtDNA repair processes we studied the formation and repair of mtDNA lesions in cells exposed to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). We show that MMS induces mtDNA damage in a dose-dependent fashion and that deletion of the APN1 gene enhances the susceptibility of mtDNA to MMS. Repair kinetic experiments demonstrate that in wild-type cells (WT) it takes 4 hr to repair the damage induced by 0.1% MMS, whereas in the apn1Δ strain there is a lag in mtDNA repair that results in significant differences in the repair capacity between the two yeast strains. Analysis of lesions in nuclear DNA (nDNA) after treatment with 0.1% MMS shows a significant difference in the amount of nDNA lesions between WT and apn1Δ cells. Interestingly, comparisons between nDNA and mtDNA damage show that nDNA is more sensitive to the effects of MMS treatment. However, both strains are able to repair the nDNA lesions, contrary to mtDNA repair, which is compromised in the apn1Δ mutant strain. Therefore, although nDNA is more sensitive than mtDNA to the effects of MMS, deletion of APN1 has a stronger phenotype in mtDNA repair than in nDNA. These results highlight the prominent role of APN1 in the repair of environmentally induced mtDNA damage.
doi:10.1002/em.20462
PMCID: PMC2858446  PMID: 19197988
base excision repair; mitochondrial DNA; alkylating agent
15.  Automation and validation of micronucleus detection in the 3D EpiDerm™ human reconstructed skin assay and correlation with 2D dose responses 
Mutagenesis  2014;29(3):165-175.
Recent restrictions on the testing of cosmetic ingredients in animals have resulted in the need to test the genotoxic potential of chemicals exclusively in vitro prior to licensing. However, as current in vitro tests produce some misleading positive results, sole reliance on such tests could prevent some chemicals with safe or beneficial exposure levels from being marketed. The 3D human reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay is a promising new in vitro approach designed to assess genotoxicity of dermally applied compounds. The assay utilises a highly differentiated in vitro model of the human epidermis. For the first time, we have applied automated micronucleus detection to this assay using MetaSystems Metafer Slide Scanning Platform (Metafer), demonstrating concordance with manual scoring. The RSMN assay’s fixation protocol was found to be compatible with the Metafer, providing a considerably shorter alternative to the recommended Metafer protocol. Lowest observed genotoxic effect levels (LOGELs) were observed for mitomycin-C at 4.8 µg/ml and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) at 1750 µg/ml when applied topically to the skin surface. In-medium dosing with MMS produced a LOGEL of 20 µg/ml, which was very similar to the topical LOGEL when considering the total mass of MMS added. Comparisons between 3D medium and 2D LOGELs resulted in a 7-fold difference in total mass of MMS applied to each system, suggesting a protective function of the 3D microarchitecture. Interestingly, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a positive clastogen in 2D systems, tested negative in this assay. A non-genotoxic carcinogen, methyl carbamate, produced negative results, as expected. We also demonstrated expression of the DNA repair protein N-methylpurine-DNA glycosylase in EpiDerm™. Our preliminary validation here demonstrates that the RSMN assay may be a valuable follow-up to the current in vitro test battery, and together with its automation, could contribute to minimising unnecessary in vivo tests by reducing in vitro misleading positives.
doi:10.1093/mutage/geu011
PMCID: PMC3983754  PMID: 24675152
16.  Functional Specialization of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Cytosolic Thioredoxin h1 in the Response to Alkylation-Induced DNA Damage 
Eukaryotic Cell  2005;4(2):262-273.
DNA damage occurs as a by-product of intrinsic cellular processes, like DNA replication, or as a consequence of exposure to genotoxic agents. Organisms have evolved multiple mechanisms to avoid, tolerate, or repair DNA lesions. To gain insight into these processes, we have isolated mutants hypersensitive to DNA-damaging agents in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. One mutant, Ble-1, showed decreased survival when it was treated with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), bleomycin, or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but behaved like the wild type when it was exposed to UVC irradiation. Ble-1 carries an extensive chromosomal deletion that includes the gene encoding cytosolic thioredoxin h1 (Trxh1). Transformation of Ble-1 with a wild-type copy of Trxh1 fully corrected the MMS hypersensitivity and partly restored the tolerance to bleomycin. Trxh1 also complemented a defect in the repair of MMS-induced DNA strand breaks and alkali-labile sites. In addition, a Trxh1-β-glucuronidase fusion protein translocated to the nucleus in response to treatment with MMS. However, somewhat surprisingly, Trxh1 failed to correct the Ble-1 hypersensitivity to H2O2. Moreover, Trxh1 suppression by RNA interference in a wild-type strain resulted in enhanced sensitivity to MMS and DNA repair defects but no increased cytotoxicity to H2O2. Thioredoxins have been implicated in oxidative-stress responses in many organisms. Yet our results indicate a specific role of Chlamydomonas Trxh1 in the repair of MMS-induced DNA damage, whereas it is dispensable for the response to H2O2. These observations also suggest functional specialization among cytosolic thioredoxins since another Chlamydomonas isoform (Trxh2) does not compensate for the lack of Trxh1.
doi:10.1128/EC.4.2.262-273.2005
PMCID: PMC549321  PMID: 15701788
17.  DNA breaks and chromosomal aberrations arise when replication meets base excision repair 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(1):29-43.
DNA double-strand breaks and chromosomal aberrations after treatment with N-alkylating agents likely arise as a result of replication fork collision with single-strand breaks generated during base excision repair.
Exposures that methylate DNA potently induce DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and chromosomal aberrations, which are thought to arise when damaged bases block DNA replication. Here, we demonstrate that DNA methylation damage causes DSB formation when replication interferes with base excision repair (BER), the predominant pathway for repairing methylated bases. We show that cells defective in the N-methylpurine DNA glycosylase, which fail to remove N-methylpurines from DNA and do not initiate BER, display strongly reduced levels of methylation-induced DSBs and chromosomal aberrations compared with wild-type cells. Also, cells unable to generate single-strand breaks (SSBs) at apurinic/apyrimidinic sites do not form DSBs immediately after methylation damage. In contrast, cells deficient in x-ray cross-complementing protein 1, DNA polymerase β, or poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 activity, all of which fail to seal SSBs induced at apurinic/apyrimidinic sites, exhibit strongly elevated levels of methylation-induced DSBs and chromosomal aberrations. We propose that DSBs and chromosomal aberrations after treatment with N-alkylators arise when replication forks collide with SSBs generated during BER.
doi:10.1083/jcb.201312078
PMCID: PMC4085701  PMID: 24982429
18.  Chemopreventive effect of cactus Opuntia ficus indica on oxidative stress and genotoxicity of aflatoxin B1 
Background
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is potent hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic agent. In aflatoxicosis, oxidative stress is a common mechanism contributing to initiation and progression of hepatic damage. The aim of this work was to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of cactus cladode extract (CCE) on aflatoxin B1-induced liver damage in mice by measuring malondialdehyde (MDA) level, the protein carbonyls generation and the heat shock proteins Hsp 70 and Hsp 27 expressions in liver. We also looked for an eventual protective effect against AFB1-induced genotoxicity as determined by chromosome aberrations test, SOS Chromotest and DNA fragmentation assay. We further evaluated the modulation of p53, bax and bcl2 protein expressions in liver.
Methods
Adult, healthy balbC (20-25 g) male mice were pre-treated by intraperitonial administration of CCE (50 mg/Kg.b.w) for 2 weeks. Control animals were treated 3 days a week for 4 weeks by intraperitonial administration of 250 μg/Kg.b.w AFB1. Animals treated by AFB1 and CCE were divided into two groups: the first group was administrated CCE 2 hours before each treatment with AFB1 3 days a week for 4 weeks. The second group was administrated without pre-treatment with CCE but this extract was administrated 24 hours after each treatment with AFB1 3 days a week for 4 weeks.
Results
Our results clearly showed that AFB1 induced significant alterations in oxidative stress markers. In addition, it has a genotoxic potential and it increased the expression of pro apoptotic proteins p53 and bax and decreased the expression of bcl2. The treatment of CCE before or after treatment with AFB1, showed (i) a total reduction of AFB1 induced oxidative damage markers, (ii) an anti-genotoxic effect resulting in an efficient prevention of chromosomal aberrations and DNA fragmentation compared to the group treated with AFB1 alone (iii) restriction of the effect of AFB1 by differential modulation of the expression of p53 which decreased as well as its associated genes such as bax and bcl2.
Conclusion
We concluded that CCE might have a hepatoprotective effect against aflatoxicosis in mice, probably acting by promoting the antioxidant defence systems.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-8-73
PMCID: PMC3214131  PMID: 22008149
Cactus; Aflatoxin B1; Oxidative Stress; Genotoxicity; Hepatopretective
19.  A Germline Polymorphism of DNA Polymerase Beta Induces Genomic Instability and Cellular Transformation 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(11):e1003052.
Several germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified in the POLB gene, but little is known about their cellular and biochemical impact. DNA Polymerase β (Pol β), encoded by the POLB gene, is the main gap-filling polymerase involved in base excision repair (BER), a pathway that protects the genome from the consequences of oxidative DNA damage. In this study we tested the hypothesis that expression of the POLB germline coding SNP (rs3136797) in mammalian cells could induce a cancerous phenotype. Expression of this SNP in both human and mouse cells induced double-strand breaks, chromosomal aberrations, and cellular transformation. Following treatment with an alkylating agent, cells expressing this coding SNP accumulated BER intermediate substrates, including single-strand and double-strand breaks. The rs3136797 SNP encodes the P242R variant Pol β protein and biochemical analysis showed that P242R protein had a slower catalytic rate than WT, although P242R binds DNA similarly to WT. Our results suggest that people who carry the rs3136797 germline SNP may be at an increased risk for cancer susceptibility.
Author Summary
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The maintenance of genomic integrity is dependent on faithful DNA replication and repair. The base excision repair (BER) pathway is responsible for repairing at least 20,000 lesions per cell per day. DNA polymerase beta (Pol β) is the main polymerase in the BER pathway and is mutated in up to 40% of human tumors. However, little is known regarding any germline mutations found in the human population. Here, we provide evidence that the germline variant of Pol β, P242R, has a slower catalytic rate than the wild-type Pol β. This reduced rate induces an increase in chromosomal aberrations, a type of genomic instability that can lead to cancer. We also show that expressing P242R in human cells induces cellular transformation, anchorage-independent growth, and an increased rate of proliferation: all hallmarks of tumorigenesis. Together, our data suggest that the germline Pol β variant can drive carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003052
PMCID: PMC3493456  PMID: 23144635
20.  Beryllium Metal I. Experimental Results on Acute Oral Toxicity, Local Skin and Eye Effects, and Genotoxicity 
Annals of Occupational Hygiene  2010;55(1):30-42.
The toxicity of soluble metal compounds is often different from that of the parent metal. Since no reliable data on acute toxicity, local effects, and mutagenicity of beryllium metal have ever been generated, beryllium metal powder was tested according to the respective Organisation for Economical Co-Operation and Development (OECD) guidelines. Acute oral toxicity of beryllium metal was investigated in rats and local effects on skin and eye in rabbits. Skin-sensitizing properties were investigated in guinea pigs (maximization method). Basic knowledge about systemic bioavailability is important for the design of genotoxicity tests on poorly soluble substances. Therefore, it was necessary to experimentally compare the capacities of beryllium chloride and beryllium metal to form ions under simulated human lung conditions. Solubility of beryllium metal in artificial lung fluid was low, while solubility in artificial lysosomal fluid was moderate. Beryllium chloride dissolution kinetics were largely different, and thus, metal extracts were used in the in vitro genotoxicity tests. Genotoxicity was investigated in vitro in a bacterial reverse mutagenicity assay, a mammalian cell gene mutation assay, a mammalian cell chromosome aberration assay, and an unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay. In addition, cell transformation was tested in a Syrian hamster embryo cell assay, and potential inhibition of DNA repair was tested by modification of the UDS assay. Beryllium metal was found not to be mutagenic or clastogenic based on the experimental in vitro results. Furthermore, treatment with beryllium metal extracts did not induce DNA repair synthesis, indicative of no DNA-damaging potential of beryllium metal. A cell-transforming potential and a tendency to inhibit DNA repair when the cell is severely damaged by an external stimulus were observed. Beryllium metal was also found not to be a skin or eye irritant, not to be a skin sensitizer, and not to have relevant acute oral toxic properties.
doi:10.1093/annhyg/meq071
PMCID: PMC3020675  PMID: 21196457
acute toxicity; beryllium; genotoxicity; mutagenicity; sensitization; solubility
21.  Developmental decline in DNA repair in neural retina cells of chick embryos: persistent deficiency of repair competence in a cell line derived from late 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1977;74(1):274-286.
Neural retinas of 6-day-old chick embryos synthesize DNA and are able to carry out DNA excision repair. However, in contrast to the situation in human cells, the maximum rate of repair induced by N-acetoxy acetylaminofluorene (AAAF) is no greater than that induced by methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). With advancing differentiation of the retina in the embryo, cell multiplication and DNA synthesis decline and cease, and concurrently the cells lose the ability to carry out DNA excision repair. Thus, in 15-16-day embryos, in which the level of DNA synthesis is very low, DNA repair is barely detectable. If retinas from 14-day embryos are dissociated with trypsin and the cell suspension is plated in growth- promoting medium, DNA synthesis is reinitiated; however, in these cultures there is no detectable repair of MMS-induced damage, and only low levels of repair are observed after treatment with AAAF. A cell line was produced, by repeated passaging of these cultures, in which the cell population reached a steady state of DNA replication. However, the cell population remained deficient in the ability to repair MMS-induced damage. This cell line most likely predominantly comprises cells of retino-glial origin. Possible correlations between deficiency in DNA repair mechanisms in replicating cells and carcinogenesis in neural tissues are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2109876  PMID: 559680
22.  Apn1 and Apn2 endonucleases prevent accumulation of repair-associated DNA breaks in budding yeast as revealed by direct chromosomal analysis 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;36(6):1836-1846.
Base excision repair (BER) provides relief from many DNA lesions. While BER enzymes have been characterized biochemically, BER functions within cells are much less understood, in part because replication bypass and double-strand break (DSB) repair can also impact resistance to base damage. To investigate BER in vivo, we examined the repair of methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) induced DNA damage in haploid G1 yeast cells, so that replication bypass and recombinational DSB repair cannot occur. Based on the heat-lability of MMS-induced base damage, an assay was developed that monitors secondary breaks in full-length yeast chromosomes where closely spaced breaks yield DSBs that are observed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The assay detects damaged bases and abasic (AP) sites as heat-dependent breaks as well as intermediate heat-independent breaks that arise during BER. Using a circular chromosome, lesion frequency and repair kinetics could be easily determined. Monitoring BER in single and multiple glycosylase and AP-endonuclease mutants confirmed that Mag1 is the major enzyme that removes MMS-damaged bases. This approach provided direct physical evidence that Apn1 and Apn2 not only repair cellular base damage but also prevent break accumulation that can result from AP sites being channeled into other BER pathway(s).
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm1148
PMCID: PMC2346603  PMID: 18267974
23.  Influence of Mikania laevigata Extract over the Genotoxicity Induced by Alkylating Agents 
ISRN Toxicology  2013;2013:521432.
Medicinal plants are still widely used worldwide; yet for some species, little or no information is available concerning their biological activity, specially their genotoxic and antimutagenic potential. Mikania laevigata (Asteraceae) is a native plant from South America, and its extracts are largely used to treat respiratory complaints. The aim of the present work was then to evaluate, in vivo, the potential biological activity of M. laevigata on the genotoxicity induced by methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and cyclophosphamide (CP), using the comet assay. Male CF1 mice were divided into groups of 5-6 animals, received by gavage 0.1 mL/10 g body wt of water, Mikania laevigata extract (MLE), MMS, and CP. Results showed that treatment with 200 mg/kg of the MLE previously to MMS and CP administration, respectively, reduced the damage index (DI) in 52% and 60%, when compared to DI at 24 h. Pretreatment also reduced the damage frequency (DF) in 56% (MMS) and 58% (CP), compared to DF at 24 h. MLE administration has been shown to protect mouse DNA from damage induced by alkylating agents; this corroborates to the biological activities of M. laevigata and points towards the need of plant compounds isolation to proceed with further studies.
doi:10.1155/2013/521432
PMCID: PMC3658420  PMID: 23724299
24.  Evaluation of antioxidant potential of Rasayana drugs in healthy human volunteers 
Ayu  2014;35(1):46-49.
Background:
It is increasingly being realized that many of today's diseases are due to “oxidative stress” that results from an imbalance between formation and neutralization of free radicals. Rasayana Chikitsa is a unique branch of Ayurveda. The word Rasayana means the way for attaining excellent Rasadi Dhatus. Several medicinal plants have been described as Rasayanas in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha and Guduchi are the best among the Rasayanas described by Charaka.
Aim:
To study the efficacy of Ashwagandha and Guduchi in oxidative stress in healthy volunteers.
Materials and Methods:
The study was carried out on 30 healthy volunteers after obtaining written informed consent. They were randomly distributed in three groups. Each group was treated with three different colored capsules containing Ashwagandha, Guduchi and placebo in the dose of 1 capsule (500 mg) twice a day for 6 months. The parameters such as hemoglobin%, Erythorcyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Malondialdehyde (MDA), Super-Oxide Dismutase (SOD) level, etc., were assessed before and after treatment. The Student's t-test was applied to assess significant variations in all of the studied parameters.
Results:
In this study, there was a significant increase in SOD level and decrease in MDA level in Ashwagandha and Guduchi groups.
Conclusion:
Ashwagandha and Guduchi may be helpful in preventing the oxidative stress and premature aging.
doi:10.4103/0974-8520.141919
PMCID: PMC4213967  PMID: 25364199
Ashwagandha; Guduchi; malondialdehyde; oxidative stress; Rasayana; super-oxide dismutase
25.  Critical Evaluation of Ayurvedic Plants for Stimulating Intrinsic Antioxidant Response 
Oxidative damage caused by free radicals plays an important role in the causation and progression of many diseases, including aging. Free-radical damage is countered by many mechanisms, including both active antioxidant enzymatic activity in our body and passive antioxidants. Antioxidant response of our body can accommodate increased oxidative damage in diseased states to a level but beyond that level, additional antioxidants are required to combat the increased stress. Apart from the regular dietary sources of antioxidants, many traditional herbal medicines demonstrate a potential to boost antioxidant activity. Rasayana chikitsa that deals with rejuvenation and revitalization is a branch of the Indian traditional medical system of ayurveda. We review some select herbs described in rasayana chikitsa that have been assessed by modern means for stimulating intrinsic antioxidant responses in humans. A critical evaluation of rasayana chikitsa will likely provide urgently needed, actual stimulants of our physiological antioxidant responses and not just more passive antioxidants to add to an already large catalog.
doi:10.3389/fnins.2012.00112
PMCID: PMC3405414  PMID: 22855669
antioxidants; central nervous system; reactive oxygen species; traditional medicine; ayurveda; rasayana chikitsa; aging; herbs

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