Elevated metals compromise repair of oxidative DNA damage via the base excision repair pathway: Implications of pathologic iron overload in the brain on integrity of neuronal DNA

Hui Li, Rafal Swiercz, Ella Englander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tissue-specific iron content is tightly regulated to simultaneously satisfy specialized metabolic needs and avoid cytotoxicity. In the brain, disruption of iron homeostasis may occur in acute as well as progressive injuries associated with neuronal dysfunction and death. We hypothesized that adverse effects of disrupted metal homeostasis on brain function may involve impairment of DNA repair processes. Because in the brain, the base excision repair (BER) pathway is central for handling oxidatively damaged DNA, we investigated effects of elevated iron and zinc on key BER enzymes. In vitro DNA repair assays revealed inhibitory effects of metals on BER activities, including the incision of abasic sites, 5′-flap cleavage, gap filling DNA synthesis and ligation. Using the comet assay, we showed that while metals at concentrations which inhibit BER activities in in vitro assays, did not induce direct genomic damage in cultured primary neurons, they significantly delayed repair of genomic DNA damage induced by sublethal exposure to H2O2. Thus, in the brain even a mild transient metal overload, may adversely affect the DNA repair capacity and thereby compromise genomic integrity and initiate long-term deleterious sequelae including neuronal dysfunction and death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1774-1783
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume110
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Fingerprint

Iron Overload
DNA Repair
DNA Damage
Brain
Repair
Iron
Metals
DNA
Assays
Homeostasis
Comet Assay
Flaps
Cytotoxicity
Ligation
Zinc
Neurons
Tissue
Wounds and Injuries
Enzymes

Keywords

  • Base excision repair
  • Brain
  • Iron
  • Oxidative DNA damage
  • Primary neuronal culture
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

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abstract = "Tissue-specific iron content is tightly regulated to simultaneously satisfy specialized metabolic needs and avoid cytotoxicity. In the brain, disruption of iron homeostasis may occur in acute as well as progressive injuries associated with neuronal dysfunction and death. We hypothesized that adverse effects of disrupted metal homeostasis on brain function may involve impairment of DNA repair processes. Because in the brain, the base excision repair (BER) pathway is central for handling oxidatively damaged DNA, we investigated effects of elevated iron and zinc on key BER enzymes. In vitro DNA repair assays revealed inhibitory effects of metals on BER activities, including the incision of abasic sites, 5′-flap cleavage, gap filling DNA synthesis and ligation. Using the comet assay, we showed that while metals at concentrations which inhibit BER activities in in vitro assays, did not induce direct genomic damage in cultured primary neurons, they significantly delayed repair of genomic DNA damage induced by sublethal exposure to H2O2. Thus, in the brain even a mild transient metal overload, may adversely affect the DNA repair capacity and thereby compromise genomic integrity and initiate long-term deleterious sequelae including neuronal dysfunction and death.",
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AB - Tissue-specific iron content is tightly regulated to simultaneously satisfy specialized metabolic needs and avoid cytotoxicity. In the brain, disruption of iron homeostasis may occur in acute as well as progressive injuries associated with neuronal dysfunction and death. We hypothesized that adverse effects of disrupted metal homeostasis on brain function may involve impairment of DNA repair processes. Because in the brain, the base excision repair (BER) pathway is central for handling oxidatively damaged DNA, we investigated effects of elevated iron and zinc on key BER enzymes. In vitro DNA repair assays revealed inhibitory effects of metals on BER activities, including the incision of abasic sites, 5′-flap cleavage, gap filling DNA synthesis and ligation. Using the comet assay, we showed that while metals at concentrations which inhibit BER activities in in vitro assays, did not induce direct genomic damage in cultured primary neurons, they significantly delayed repair of genomic DNA damage induced by sublethal exposure to H2O2. Thus, in the brain even a mild transient metal overload, may adversely affect the DNA repair capacity and thereby compromise genomic integrity and initiate long-term deleterious sequelae including neuronal dysfunction and death.

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KW - Primary neuronal culture

KW - Zinc

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