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

Induction of chromosome loss by mixtures of organic solvents including neurotoxins.

Twenty-three aprotic polar solvents - 3 nitriles, 8 organic esters, 10 ketones and 2 lactones - and LiCl were tested in combination with propionitrile alone or a mixture of ethyl acetate and propionitrile for the induction of mitotic chromosome loss in the D61.M strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Propionitrile and ethyl acetate are very potent inducers of chromosome loss. Mixtures of propionitrile and ethyl acetate induced chromosome loss at much higher frequencies than was observed with the pure chemicals. To test the potentiating effects of propionitrile or mixtures of propionitrile with ethyl acetate on other chemicals, they were used in concentrations that were at or below the level for induction of chromosome loss. Twenty chemicals when tested in pure form were negative or only marginally active in the test for chromosome loss. Except for amyl propionate and benzyl acetate, the same chemicals showed strong induction in combination treatments with the potentiating chemicals. All the ketones including the neurotoxic methyl ethyl ketone, 2-hexanone and 2.5-hexanedione induced high frequencies of chromosome loss. Only methyl ethyl ketone is capable of inducing high levels of chromosome loss when tested in the pure form at much higher concentrations. 1-Methyl-2-pyrrolidinone and gamma-valerolactone had previously been shown to induce chromosome loss only when the treatment at a growth-supporting temperature was interrupted by a cold shock within a narrow range of low temperatures which prevented growth. Both gave very strong induction in combination treatment performed at a continuous growth-supporting temperature. LiCl is a weak inducer of chromosome loss: strong induction can be achieved in combination treatments.[1]


  1. Induction of chromosome loss by mixtures of organic solvents including neurotoxins. Zimmermann, F.K., Scheel, I., Resnick, M.A. Mutat. Res. (1989) [Pubmed]
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