DNA-protein cross-links induced by nickel compounds in intact cultured mammalian cells.
The carcinogenic activity of crystalline NiS has been attributed to phagocytosis and intracellular dissolution of the particles to yield Ni2+ which is thought to enter the nucleus and damage DNA. In this study the extent and type of DNA damage in Chinese hamster ovary CHO cells treated with various nickel compounds was assessed by alkaline elution. Both insoluble (crystalline NiS) and soluble (NiCl2) nickel compounds induced single strand breaks and DNA protein cross-links. The single strand breaks were repaired relatively quickly but the DNA-protein cross-links were present and still accumulating 24 h after exposure to nickel. Single strand breakage occurred at both non-cytotoxic and cytotoxic concentrations of nickel, however, DNA-protein cross-linking was absent when cells were exposed to toxic nickel levels. The concentration of nickel that induced DNA-protein cross-linking correlated with those metal concentrations that reversibly inhibited cellular replication.
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