Persistent and Heritable Structural Damage Induced in Heterochromatic DNA from Rat Liver by N-Nitrosodimethylamine

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Ward, E. J. & Stewart, B. W. (1987). Persistent and heritable structural damage induced in heterochromatic DNA from rat liver by N-nitrosodimethylamine. Biochemistry, 26(6), 1709-1717. doi:10.1021/bi00380a033

ISSN: 0006-2960


111201 Cancer Cell Biology| 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified


Analysis, by benzoylated DEAE-cellulose chromatography, has been made of structural change in eu- and heterochromatic DNA from rat liver following administration of the carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine. Either hepatic DNA was prelabeled with [3H]thymidine administered 2-3 weeks before injection of the carcinogen or the labeled precursor was given during regenerative hyperplasia in rats treated earlier with N-nitrosodimethylamine. Following phenol extraction of either whole liver homogenate or nuclease-fractionated eu- and heterochromatin, carcinogen-modified DNA was examined by stepwise or caffeine gradient elution from benzoylated DEAE-cellulose. In whole DNA, nitrosamine-induced single-stranded character was maximal 4-24 h after treatment, declining rapidly thereafter; gradient elution of these DNA preparations also provided short-term evidence of structural change. Caffeine gradient chromatography suggested short-term nitrosamine-induced structural change in euchromatic DNA, while increased binding of heterochromatic DNA was evident for up to 3 months after carcinogen treatment. Preparations of newly synthesized heterochromatic DNA from animals subjected to hepatectomy up to 2 months after carcinogen treatment provided evidence of heritable structural damage. Carcinogen-induced binding of heterochromatic DNA to benzoylated DEAE-cellulose was indicative of specific structural lesions whose affinity equalled that of single-stranded DNA up to 1.0 kilobase of single-stranded DNA up to 1.0 kilobase in length. The data suggest that structural lesions in heterochromatin, which may be a consequence of incomplete repair, are preferentially degraded by endogenous nuclease(s)


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At the time of writing Ewan Ward was affiliated with the University of New South Wales.