Author(s): Lynn S, Gurr JR, Lai HT, Jan KY
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Abstract Arsenic is atherogenic, carcinogenic, and genotoxic. Because atherosclerotic plaque has been considered a benign smooth muscle cell tumor, we have studied the effects of arsenite on DNA integrity of human vascular smooth muscle cells. By using single-cell alkaline electrophoresis, apparent DNA strand breaks were detected in a 4-hour treatment with arsenite at a concentration above 1 micromol/L. DNA strand breaks of arsenite-treated cells were increased by Escherichia coli formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase and decreased by diphenylene iodinium, superoxide dismutase, catalase, pyruvate, DMSO, or D-mannitol. Extract from arsenite-treated cells showed increased capacity for producing superoxide when NADH was included in the reaction mixture; however, addition of arsenite to extract from untreated cells did not increase superoxide production. The superoxide-producing ability of arsenite-treated cells was also suppressed by diphenylene iodinium, 4,5-dihydroxy-1, 2-benzenedisulfonic acid disodium salt (Tiron), or superoxide dismutase. Superoxide production and DNA strand breaks in arsenite-treated cells were also suppressed by transfecting antisense oligonucleotides of p22phox, an essential component of NADH oxidase. Treatment with arsenite also increased the mRNA level of p22phox. These results suggest that arsenite activates NADH oxidase to produce superoxide, which then causes oxidative DNA damage. The result that arsenite at low concentrations increases oxidant levels and causes oxidative DNA damage in vascular smooth muscle cells may be important in arsenic-induced atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy