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Cytogenet Cell Genet. 2000;91(1-4):261-6.

Mutagen sensitivity of human lymphoblastoid cells with a BRCA1 mutation in comparison to ataxia telangiectasia heterozygote cells.

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Abt. Humangenetik, Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


Our previous results indicated a close relationship between the presence of a BRCA1 mutation in lymphocytes and hypersensitivity for the induction of micronuclei by gamma irradiation and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Comparative investigations with the comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis) suggested a normal rate of damage removal and pointed to a disturbed fidelity of DNA repair as a direct or indirect consequence of a BRCA1 mutation. We now wanted to see whether similar results could be obtained with lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and whether such permanent cells are suitable as a model for the investigation of mechanisms involved in mutagen sensitivity. Our results show that LCLs with a BRCA1 mutation are also hypersensitive to the chromosome-damaging effects of gamma irradiation or H(2)O(2), as revealed by the micronucleus test. Interestingly, LCLs heterozygous for an ataxia telangiectasia (AT) mutation have similar characteristics as BRCA1 cells with respect to the induction and repair of DNA damage induced by either gamma irradiation or H(2)O(2). However, caffeine enhanced the induction of micronuclei by gamma irradiation only in normal and heterozygous AT cells but not in BRCA1 cells, thus indicating a difference in the pathways leading to mutagen sensitivity in cells with a BRCA1 or an AT mutation. Our results suggest that caffeine could be useful in discriminating AT heterozygotes from carriers of a BRCA1 mutation, as well as BRCA1 mutation carriers from normal individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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