Hypersensitivity of ataxia-telangiectasia fibroblasts to a nitric oxide donor.
Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a human autosomal recessive disease characterised by immunodeficiency, extreme sensitivity to ionising radiation and progressive cerebellar ataxia. The defective gene has recently been cloned and is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase family. We have investigated the possibility that the neurodegeneration in A-T might be induced by an endogenously formed mutagen causing radiation-like damage. Nitric oxide is known to be formed in the cerebellum and we present evidence that A-T fibroblasts are hypersensitive to killing by the nitric oxide donor S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), as are fibroblasts from a radiosensitive individual without ataxia. Killing was determined as loss of colony forming ability. GSNO induces dose-dependent DNA strand breakage, but to no greater extent in A-T fibroblasts. Breakdown of GSNO to nitrite and nitrate appears to occur to the same extent in both normal and A-T fibroblasts. Cell killing by GSNO appears to be associated in both types of cell with formation of nitrite, rather than nitrate, as the ultimate oxidation product of nitric oxide.
Green, MH; Marcovitch, AJ; Harcourt, SA; Lowe, JE; Green, IC; Arlett, CF
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