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Biochem J. 1984 Feb 15; 218(1): 273–275.
PMCID: PMC1153333

Cell killing and DNA damage by hydrogen peroxide are mediated by intracellular iron.


Phenanthroline, a strong iron chelator, prevents both the formation of DNA single-strand breaks and the killing of mouse cells produced by H2O2. These results, taken together with our previous findings, indicate that the DNA damage is produced by hydroxyl radicals formed when H2O2 reacts with chromatin-bound Fe2+ and that this damage is responsible for the killing effect.

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