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Cancer Biochem Biophys. 1990 Nov;11(4):275-87.

DNA damage and cell killing by nitrofurantoin in relation to its carcinogenic potential.

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Biophysics Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Calcutta, India.


Nitrofurantoin inhibited growth and produced loss of viability of Vibrio cholerae cells in a dose-dependent manner, the 10% (D10) and 37% (D37) survival doses being 18.0 and 5.5 micrograms/ml x hr. respectively. The drug also caused filamentation of the cells in a very significant manner. Ultraviolet absorption data and thermal chromatography through hydroxyapatite column revealed that nitrofurantoin treatment of Vibrio cholerae cells produced a maximum amount of 55% of DNA reversibly bihelical due to the formation of inter-strand cross-links. Helix-coil transition studies carried out by viscometric and also, spectrophotometric methods revealed that the nitrofurantoin-induced cross-links in Vibrio cholerae DNA, imparted to this DNA greater thermal stability than that of native DNA. The quantitative aspect and also the mode of nitrofurantoin action on DNA of Vibrio cholerae and Escherichia coli cells vis-à-vis the carcinogenic potential of the drug were discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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