Journal Article

The carotenoid β-cryptoxanthin stimulates the repair of DNA oxidation damage in addition to acting as an antioxidant in human cells

Yolanda Lorenzo, Amaia Azqueta, Luisa Luna, Félix Bonilla, Gemma Domínguez and Andrew R. Collins

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 2, pages 308-314
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgn270
The carotenoid β-cryptoxanthin stimulates the repair of DNA oxidation damage in addition to acting as an antioxidant in human cells

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The role of dietary antioxidants in human health remains controversial. Fruits and vegetables in the diet are associated with lower rates of chronic disease, and this is often attributed to their content of antioxidants, and a resulting protection against oxidative stress. However, large-scale human trials with antioxidant supplements have shown, if anything, an increase in mortality. We have investigated the biological properties of β-cryptoxanthin, a common carotenoid, in cell culture model systems, using the comet assay to measure DNA damage. At low concentrations, close to those found in plasma, β-cryptoxanthin does not itself cause damage, but protects transformed human cells (HeLa and Caco-2) from damage induced by H2O2 or by visible light in the presence of a photosensitizer. In addition, it has a striking effect on DNA repair, measured in different ways. Incubation of H2O2-treated cells with β-cryptoxanthin led to a doubling of the rate of rejoining of strand breaks and had a similar effect on the rate of removal of oxidized purines by base excision repair. The latter effect was confirmed with an in vitro assay: cells were incubated with or without β-cryptoxanthin before preparing an extract, which was then incubated with substrate DNA containing 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine; incision was more rapid with the extract prepared from carotenoid-preincubated cells. No significant increases were seen in protein content of human 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 or apurinic endonuclease 1. The apparent cancer-preventive effects of dietary carotenoids may depend on the enhancement of DNA repair as well as antioxidant protection against damage.

Journal Article.  5078 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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