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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Arsenic co-exposure potentiates benzo[a]pyrene genotoxicity.

Authors: Maier, Andrew; Schumann, Brenda L; Chang, Xiaoqing; Talaska, Glenn; Puga, Alvaro

Published In Mutat Res, (2002 May 27)

Abstract: Co-exposures to complex mixtures of arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) are common in the environment. These two environmental pollutants are carcinogenic, but the nature of their molecular interactions in the induction of cancer is not well understood. Additive or synergistic interactions have been proposed to explain why arsenic, which is not a potent mutagen itself, is comutagenic with a variety of DNA-damaging agents. We have examined the genotoxicity of BaP-arsenic mixtures. We find that exposure of mouse hepatoma Hepa-1 cells to low concentrations of arsenite increases BaP-DNA adduct levels by as much as 18-fold. This effect requires the activation of BaP by cytochrome p450 1A1 (CYP1A1), although arsenite does not alter BaP-inducible CYP1A1 enzymatic activity, suggesting that arsenite acts downstream of metabolic BaP activation. Glutathione homeostasis was important in modulating the potency of arsenite. In cells depleted of reduced glutathione, arsenite increased BaP-DNA adduct formation by an even greater degree than in cells co-treated with BaP and arsenite in control medium. Although arsenic comutagenicity has been attributed to inhibition of DNA repair, arsenite treatment did not alter adduct removal kinetics in BaP-treated cells, suggesting that mechanisms upstream of DNA repair are responsible for increased adduct levels. Concentrations of arsenite and BaP that had no measurable mutagenic effect alone, increased mutation frequency at the Hprt locus by eight-fold when given in combination, demonstrating a comutagenic response between BaP and arsenite. These results provide strong support for the positive interaction between arsenic and PAH-induced cancer observed in epidemiology studies, and help to identify additional mechanistic steps likely to be involved in arsenic comutagenesis.

PubMed ID: 12034312 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Arsenic*; Arsenites/metabolism; Benzo(a)pyrene*; DNA Adducts; DNA/analysis; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Glutathione/metabolism; Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase/genetics; Mice; Mutagenesis; Mutagenicity Tests; Mutagens*; Time Factors; Tumor Cells, Cultured

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