Differential sensitivity of chromium-mediated DNA interstrand crosslinks and DNA-protein crosslinks to disruption by alkali and EDTA.
Some compounds of hexavalent chromium are well-established carcinogens. Chromium enters mammalian cells in the hexavalent form and is reduced to chromium (III). Treatment of purified DNA with chromium (III) produces DNA-DNA interstrand crosslinks (DDC) which obstruct the progression of DNA polymerases in vitro. DDC were also detected in chromate-treated cultured normal human lung cells using the renaturing agarose gel electrophoresis (RAGE) assay and correlated with base-specific inhibition of DNA replication. Curiously, DDC have gone undetected in studies of cultured cells using the alkaline elution (AE) technique, whereas chromium-mediated DNA-protein crosslinks (DPC) were readily detected by AE. We tested the hypothesis that AE conditions [60 mM tetraethyl ammonium hydroxide (TEA), 20 mM EDTA, pH 12.6, for 16 h at room temperature] dissociate DDC but not DPC using chromium(III)-treated plasmid DNA and the RAGE assay. Dose-dependent chromium-induced DDC were unaffected by TEA (pH 11.8) alone or by more rigorous alkaline denaturation conditions (200 mM NaOH, pH 13.5, for 16 h). DDC were, however, completely disrupted by EDTA (pH 12.6) alone or the combination of TEA and EDTA (pH 12.6). In contrast, DPC remained largely intact under these conditions. Therefore, past AE-based studies which have failed to detect chromium-induced DDC do not prove the absence of this lesion. AE may not be suitable for detecting DDC induced by EDTA-chelatable agents such as metals.
Singh, J; Bridgewater, LC; Patierno, SR
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)