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

DNA damage and cytotoxicity of nitracrine in cultured HeLa cells.

The effects of nitracrine (1-nitro-9-(3,3-N,N-dimethylaminopropylamino)acridine on DNA of cultured HeLa cells were studied. DNA strand breakage and interstrand cross-linking as well as DNA-protein cross-linking were measured by means of an alkaline elution technique and were compared with the cytotoxic effect of the drug. Interstrand cross-links were not detectable in the concentration range that inhibited cell growth up to 99%. DNA single-strand breaks were found when cells were treated with highly cytotoxic doses of the drug. DNA breakage was not reparable and exhibited a tendency to increase during incubation after drug removal. The only chromatin lesion induced by sublethal doses of nitracrine were DNA-protein cross-links which persisted for 24 h after drug treatment. It is concluded that DNA breaks represent degraded DNA from dying cells, whereas DNA-protein cross-links are specific cellular lesions, which may be responsible for the cell-killing effect of nitracrine.[1]


  1. DNA damage and cytotoxicity of nitracrine in cultured HeLa cells. Szmigiero, L., Studzian, K. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1989) [Pubmed]
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