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DNA Repair (Amst). 2004 Oct 5;3(10):1263-72.

Iron chelators increase the resistance of Ataxia telangeictasia cells to oxidative stress.

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Iowa Cancer Research Foundation, 11043 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA 50322, USA.


Ataxia telangeictasia (A-T) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by immune dysfunction, genomic instability, chronic oxidative damage, and increased cancer incidence. Previously, desferal was found to increase the resistance of A-T, but not normal cells to exogenous oxidative stress in the colony forming-efficiency assay, suggesting that iron metabolism is dysregulated in A-T. Since desferal both chelates iron and modulates gene expression, we tested the effects of apoferritin and the iron chelating flavonoid quercetin on A-T cell colony-forming ability. We demonstrate that apoferritin and quercetin increase the ability of A-T cells to form colonies. We also show that labile iron levels are significantly elevated in Atm-deficient mouse sera compared to syngeniec wild type mice. Our findings support a role for labile iron acting as a Fenton catalyst in A-T, contributing to the chronic oxidative stress seen in this disease. Our findings further suggest that iron chelators might promote the survival of A-T cells and hence, individuals with A-T.

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