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FEBS Lett. 1991 Apr 9;281(1-2):9-19.

DNA damage by oxygen-derived species. Its mechanism and measurement in mammalian systems.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento 95817.


When cells are exposed to oxidative stress, DNA damage frequently occurs. The molecular mechanisms causing this damage may include activation of nucleases and direct reaction of hydroxyl radicals with the DNA. Several oxygen-derived species can attack DNA, producing distinctive patterns of chemical modification. Observation of these patterns and measurement of some of the products formed has been used to determine the role of different oxygen-derived species in DNA cleavage reactions, to assess the extent of oxidative damage to DNA in vivo and to investigate the mechanism of DNA damage by ionizing radiation and chemical carcinogens.

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