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Blood. 1996 Sep 15;88(6):2298-305.

The Fanconi anemia complementation group C protein corrects DNA interstrand cross-link-specific apoptosis in HSC536N cells.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital Memphis, TN 38101, USA.


Fanconi anemia (FA) cells are hypersensitive to cytotoxicity, cell cycle arrest, and chromosomal aberrations induced by DNA cross-linking agents, such as mitomycin C (MMC) and nitrogen mustard (HN2). Although MMC hypersensitivity is complemented in a subset of FA cells (complementation group C [FA-C]) by wild-type FAC cDNA, the cytoprotective mechanism is unknown. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that FAC protein functions in the suppression of DNA interstand cross-link (ISC)-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Comparison of HN2-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis with those of its non-cross-linking analogs, diethylaminoethyl chloride and 2-dimethylaminoethyl chloride, delineated the DNA ISC specificity of FAC-mediated cytoprotection. Overexpression of wild-type FAC cDNA in FA-C lymphoblasts (HSC536N cell line) prevented HN2-induced growth inhibition, G2 arrest, and DNA fragmentation that is characteristic of apoptosis. In contrast cytoprotection was not conferred against the effects of the non-cross-linking mustards. Our data show that DNA ISCs induce apoptosis more potently than do DNA monoadducts and suggest that FAC suppresses specifically DNA ISC-induced apoptosis in the G2 phase of the cell cycle.

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