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Mutat Res. 1999 Jul 15;443(1-2):37-52.

Oxygen and nitrogen are pro-carcinogens. Damage to DNA by reactive oxygen, chlorine and nitrogen species: measurement, mechanism and the effects of nutrition.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260, Singapore.


Humans are exposed to many carcinogens, but the most significant may be the reactive species derived from metabolism of oxygen and nitrogen. Nitric oxide seems unlikely to damage DNA directly, but nitrous acid produces deamination and peroxynitrite leads to both deamination and nitration. Scavenging of reactive nitrogen species generated in the stomach may be an important role of flavonoids, flavonoids and other plant-derived phenolic compounds. Different reactive oxygen species produce different patterns of damage to DNA bases, e.g., such patterns have been used to implicate hydroxyl radical as the ultimate agent in H(2)O(2)-induced DNA damage. Levels of steady-state DNA damage in vivo are consistent with the concept that such damage is a major contributor to the age-related development of cancer and so such damage can be used as a biomarker to study the effects of diet or dietary supplements on risk of cancer development, provided that reliable assays are available. Methodological questions addressed in this article include the validity of measuring 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8OHdG) in cellular DNA or in urine as a biomarker of DNA damage, the extent of artifact formation during analysis of oxidative DNA damage by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the levels of oxidative damage in mitochondrial DNA.

Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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