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Mutat Res. 1991 Sep-Oct;250(1-2):95-101.

Role of antioxidants in protecting cellular DNA from damage by oxidative stress.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


We have previously derived 2 V79 clones resistant to menadione (Md1 cells) and cadmium (Cd1 cells), respectively. They both were shown to be cross-resistant to hydrogen peroxide. There was a modification in the antioxidant repertoire in these cells as compared to the parental cells. Md1 presented an increase in catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities whereas Cd1 cells exhibited an increase in metallothionein and glutathione contents. The susceptibility of the DNA of these cells to the damaging effect of H2O2 was tested using the DNA precipitation assay. Both Md1 and Cd1 DNAs were more resistant to the peroxide action. In the case of Md1 cells it seems clear that the extra resistance is provided by the increase in the two H2O2 scavenger enzymes, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. In the case of Cd1 cells the activities of these enzymes as well as of superoxide dismutases (Cu/Zn and Mn) are unaltered as compared to the parental cells. The facts that parental cells exposed to 100 microM Zn2+ in the medium exhibit an increase in metallothionein but not in glutathione and that these cells become more resistant to the DNA-damaging effect of H2O2 suggest that this protein might play a protective role in vivo against the OH radical attack on DNA.

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