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Environ Mol Mutagen. 2015 Jun;56(5):457-67. doi: 10.1002/em.21938. Epub 2015 Feb 6.

Hydroxyurea induces chromosomal damage in G2 and enhances the clastogenic effect of mitomycin C in Fanconi anemia cells.

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Laboratorio de Citogenética, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría, México.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California.
Laboratorio de Citometría de Flujo, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Iztapalapa, Mexico.
Unidad de Investigación en Genética y Toxicología (UNIGEN), FES-Zaragoza, UNAM, México.
Subdirección de Genómica Poblacional, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, México.
Departamento de Medicina, Genómica y Toxicología Ambiental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, UNAM, México.


Fanconi's anemia (FA) is a recessive disease; 16 genes are currently recognized in FA. FA proteins participate in the FA/BRCA pathway that plays a crucial role in the repair of DNA damage induced by crosslinking compounds. Hydroxyurea (HU) is an agent that induces replicative stress by inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), which synthesizes deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) necessary for DNA replication and repair. HU is known to activate the FA pathway; however, its clastogenic effects are not well characterized. We have investigated the effects of HU treatment alone or in sequential combination with mitomycin-C (MMC) on FA patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines from groups FA-A, B, C, D1/BRCA2, and E and on lymphocytes from two unclassified FA patients. All FA cells showed a significant increase (P < 0.05) in chromosomal aberrations following treatment with HU during the last 3 h before mitosis. Furthermore, when FA cells previously exposed to MMC were treated with HU, we observed an increase of MMC-induced DNA damage that was characterized by high occurrence of DNA breaks and a reduction in rejoined chromosomal aberrations. These findings show that exposure to HU during G2 induces chromosomal aberrations by a mechanism that is independent of its well-known role in replication fork stalling during S-phase and that HU interfered mainly with the rejoining process of DNA damage. We suggest that impaired oxidative stress response, lack of an adequate amount of dNTPs for DNA repair due to RNR inhibition, and interference with cell cycle control checkpoints underlie the clastogenic activity of HU in FA cells. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 56:457-467, 2015.


DNA repair; chromosomal aberrations; double strand breaks; ribonucleotide reductase

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