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J Biol Chem. 2012 Apr 6;287(15):12379-86. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.329623. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Effect of carcinogenic acrolein on DNA repair and mutagenic susceptibility.

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Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10987, USA.


Acrolein (Acr), a ubiquitous environmental contaminant, is a human carcinogen. Acr can react with DNA to form mutagenic α- and γ-hydroxy-1, N(2)-cyclic propano-2'-deoxyguanosine adducts (α-OH-Acr-dG and γ-OH-Acr-dG). We demonstrate here that Acr-dG adducts can be efficiently repaired by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway in normal human bronchial epithelia (NHBE) and lung fibroblasts (NHLF). However, the same adducts were poorly processed in cell lysates isolated from Acr-treated NHBE and NHLF, suggesting that Acr inhibits NER. In addition, we show that Acr treatment also inhibits base excision repair and mismatch repair. Although Acr does not change the expression of XPA, XPC, hOGG1, PMS2 or MLH1 genes, it causes a reduction of XPA, XPC, hOGG1, PMS2, and MLH1 proteins; this effect, however, can be neutralized by the proteasome inhibitor MG132. Acr treatment further enhances both bulky and oxidative DNA damage-induced mutagenesis. These results indicate that Acr not only damages DNA but can also modify DNA repair proteins and further causes degradation of these modified repair proteins. We propose that these two detrimental effects contribute to Acr mutagenicity and carcinogenicity.

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