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

Genotoxicity of propoxur and its N-nitroso derivative in mammalian cells.

N-Nitroso propoxur (NP) can be synthesized from a widely used N-methylcarbamate insecticide, propoxur, in vitro in the laboratory. Because of the extensive use of aerosol propoxur, the adverse effect on cells of respiratory origin is worth elucidating. In this report, two mammalian cell cultures from respiratory tissues [a hamster lung fibroblast, V79, and a primary rat tracheal epithelial cell (RTE)], were used to investigate the genotoxicity of propoxur and NP. NP was more cytotoxic than propoxur, with LC50s (20 and six times smaller, respectively in V79 and RTE cells. NP significantly induced sister chromatid exchange (> or = 0.01 microg/ml), chromosome aberration (> or = 2.5 microg/ml) and hprt gene mutation (> or = 0.5 microg/ml) in V79 cells, and cell transformation (> or = 0.2 microg/ml) in RTE cells. Results of chromosome aberration and hprt gene mutation indicated that the major pre-mutagenic lesion induced by NP must be the O6-methylguanine adduct, which frequently mispairs with thymine and thus gives rise to a GC-->AT transition. Propoxur was not mutagenic to either type of cells. However, it inhibited gap-junctional intercellular communication in V79 cells, which indicates that propoxur could act through some epigenetic mechanisms, such as tumor promotion or cell proliferation, in the multiple process of chemical carcinogenesis.[1]


  1. Genotoxicity of propoxur and its N-nitroso derivative in mammalian cells. Wang, T.C., Chiou, J.M., Chang, Y.L., Hu, M.C. Carcinogenesis (1998) [Pubmed]
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