Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Effects of chromium on DNA replication in vitro.

Authors: Snow, E T

Published In Environ Health Perspect, (1994 Sep)

Abstract: Chromium is an environmentally significant human carcinogen with complicated metabolism and an unknown mechanism of mutagenesis. Chromium(VI) is taken up by cells as the chromate anion and is reduced intracellularly via reactive intermediates to stable Cr(III) species. Chromium(III) forms tight complexes with biological ligands, such as DNA and proteins, which are slow to exchange. In vitro, CrCl3.6H2O primarily interacts with DNA to form outer shell charge complexes with the DNA phosphates. However, at micromolar concentrations, the Cr(III) binds to a low number of saturable tight binding sites on single-stranded M13 DNA. Additional chromium interacts in a nonspecific manner with the DNA and can form intermolecular DNA cross-links. Although high concentrations of Cr(III) inhibit DNA replication, micromolar concentrations of Cr(III) can substitute for Mg2+, weakly activate the Klenow fragment of E. coli DNA polymerase I (Pol I-KF), and act as an enhancer of nucleotide incorporation. Alterations in enzyme kinetics induced by Cr(III) increase DNA polymerase processivity and the rate of polymerase bypass of DNA lesions. This results in an increased rate of spontaneous mutagenesis during DNA replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicate that chromium(III) may contribute to chromate-induced mutagenesis and may be a factor in the initiation of chromium carcinogenesis.

PubMed ID: 7843135 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Chromium/toxicity*; DNA Polymerase I/drug effects; DNA Polymerase I/metabolism; DNA Replication/drug effects*; DNA, Single-Stranded/drug effects; Escherichia coli/drug effects; Escherichia coli/genetics; Mutagenicity Tests; Nucleotides/metabolism; Templates, Genetic

to Top