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Free Radic Biol Med. 2006 Jul 1;41(1):154-64. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Peroxynitrite mobilizes calcium ions from ryanodine-sensitive stores, a process associated with the mitochondrial accumulation of the cation and the enforced formation of species mediating cleavage of genomic DNA.

Author information

1
Istituto di Farmacologia e Farmacognosia, Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Via S. Chiara 27, 61029 Urbino, Italy.

Abstract

Peroxynitrite does not directly cause strand scission of genomic DNA. Rather, as we previously reported, the DNA cleavage is largely mediated by H(2)O(2) resulting from the dismutation of superoxide generated in the mitochondria upon peroxynitrite-dependent inhibition of complex III. The present study demonstrates that this process is strictly controlled by the availability of Ca(2+) in the mitochondrial compartment. Experiments using intact as well as permeabilized U937 cells showed that the DNA-damaging response evoked by peroxynitrite is enhanced by treatments causing an increase in mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake and remarkably reduced under conditions leading to inhibition of mitochondrial Ca(2+) accumulation. An additional, important observation was that the source of the Ca(2+) mobilized by peroxynitrite is the ryanodine receptor; preventing the mobilization of Ca(2+) with ryanodine suppressed the mitochondrial formation of reactive oxygen species and the ensuing DNA strand scission. Identical results were obtained using PC12, C6, and THP-1 cells. These results, along with our previous findings indicating that the DNA damage induced by peroxynitrite is also suppressed by inhibition of the electron flow through complex I, e.g., by rotenone, or by the respiration-deficient phenotype, demonstrate that the mitochondrial formation of DNA-damaging species is critically regulated by the inhibition of complex III and by the availability of Ca(2+).

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