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Nutr Cancer. 1991;16(3-4):227-38.

Bile salt/acid induction of DNA damage in bacterial and mammalian cells: implications for colon cancer.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724.


Two bile salts, sodium chenodeoxycholate and sodium deoxycholate, induced a DNA repair response in the bacterium Escherichia coli. Similarly, a bile acid and a bile salt, chenodeoxycholic acid and sodium deoxycholate, induced DNA repair (indicated by unscheduled DNA synthesis) in human foreskin fibroblasts. Also, DNA repair-deficient Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were found to be more sensitive than normal cells to killing by bile salts. In particular, mutant UV4 CHO cells, defective in DNA excision repair and DNA cross-link removal, were more sensitive to sodium chenodeoxycholate, and mutant EM9 CHO cells, defective in strand-break rejoining, were more sensitive to sodium deoxycholate than wild-type cells. These results indicate that bile salts/acid damage DNA of both bacterial and mammalian cells in vivo. Previous epidemiological studies have shown that colon cancer incidence correlates with fecal bile acid levels. The findings reported here support the hypothesis that bile salts/acids have an etiologic role in colon cancer by causing DNA damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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