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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metabolism of carcinogenic urethane to nitric oxide is involved in oxidative DNA damage.

Carcinogenic urethane (ethyl carbamate) forms DNA adduct via epoxide, whereas carcinogenic methyl carbamate can not. To clarify a mechanism independent of DNA adduct formation, we examined DNA damage induced by N-hydroxyurethane, a urethane metabolite, using 32P-5'-end-labeled DNA fragments. N-hydroxyurethane induced Cu(II)-mediated DNA damage especially at thymine and cytosine residues. DNA damage was inhibited by both catalase and bathocuproine, suggesting a role for H(2)O(2) and Cu(I) in DNA damage. Free (*) OH scavengers did not inhibit the DNA damage, although methional did inhibit it. These results suggest that reactive species, such as the Cu(I)-hydroperoxo complex, cause DNA damage. Formation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) was increased by N-hydroxyurethane in the presence of Cu(II). When treated with esterase, N-hydroxyurethane induced 8-oxodG formation to a similar extent as that induced by hydroxylamine. Enhancement of DNA cleavages by endonuclease IV suggests that hydroxylamine induced depurination. Furthermore, hydroxylamine induced a significant increase in 8-oxodG formation in HL-60 cells but not in its H(2)O(2)-resistant clone HP 100 cells. o-Phenanthroline significantly inhibited the 8-oxodG formation in HL-60 cells, confirming the involvement of metal ions in the 8-oxodG formation by hydroxylamine. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy, utilizing Fe[N-(dithiocarboxy)sarcosine](3), demonstrated that nitric oxide (NO) was generated from hydroxylamine and esterase-treated N-hydroxyurethane. It is concluded that urethane may induce carcinogenesis through oxidation and, to a lesser extent, depurination of DNA by its metabolites.[1]


  1. Metabolism of carcinogenic urethane to nitric oxide is involved in oxidative DNA damage. Sakano, K., Oikawa, S., Hiraku, Y., Kawanishi, S. Free Radic. Biol. Med. (2002) [Pubmed]
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