Journal Article

Excessive base excision repair of 5-hydroxymethyluracil from DNA induces apoptosis in Chinese hamster V79 cells containing mutant p53

Li-Jun Mi, Wenren Chaung, Robert Horowitz, George W. Teebor and Robert J. Boorstein

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 1, pages 179-186
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Excessive base excision repair of 5-hydroxymethyluracil from DNA induces apoptosis in Chinese hamster V79 cells containing mutant p53

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We have demonstrated previously that the toxicity of 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxyuridine (hmdUrd) to Chinese hamster fibroblasts (V79 cells) results from enzymatic removal of large numbers of hydroxymethyluracil residues from the DNA backbone [Boorstein,R. et al. (1992) Mol. Cell. Biol., 12, 5536–5540]. Here we report that a significant portion of the hmdUrd-induced cell death that is dependent on DNA base excision repair in V79 cells is apoptosis. Incubation of V79 cells with pharmacologically relevant concentrations of hmdUrd resulted in the characteristic changes of apoptosis as measured by gel electrophoresis, flow cytometry and phase contrast microscopy. However, hmdUrd did not induce apoptosis in V79mut1 cells, which are deficient in DNA base excision repair of 5-hydroxymethyluracil (hmUra). Apoptosis was not prevented by addition of 3-aminobenzamide, which inhibits synthesis of poly(ADP–ribose) from NAD, indicating that apoptosis was not the direct consequence of NAD depletion. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis indicated that hmdUrd treatment resulted in high molecular weight (2.2–4.5 Mb) DNA double-strand breaks prior to formation of internucleosomal ladders in V79 cells. Simultaneous measurement of DNA strand breaks with bromodeoxyuridine/terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–fluorescein isothiocyanate labeling and of cell cycle distribution indicated that cells with DNA strand breaks accumulated in late S/G2 and that hmdUrd-treated cells underwent apotosis after arrest in late S/G2 phase. Our results indicate that excessive DNA base excision repair results in the generation of high molecular weight DNA double-strand breaks and eventually leads to apoptosis in V79 cells. Thus, delayed apoptosis following DNA damage can be a consequence of excessive DNA repair activity. Immunochemical analysis showed that both V79 and V79mut1 cells contained mutant p53, indicating that apoptosis induced by DNA base excision repair can be independent of p53.

Keywords: AP site, apyrimidinic site; BrdUrd, bromodeoxyuridine; FITC, fluorescein isothiocyanate; hmdUrd, 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxyuridine; hmUDG, hydroxymethyluracil–DNA glycosylase; hmUra, 5-hydroxymethyluracil; PARP, poly(ADP–ribose) polymerase; PS, phosphotidylserine; TdT, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase.

Journal Article.  6097 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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