Genotoxicity of azidoalanine in mammalian cells

P. Arenaz, L. Hallberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Sodium azide mutagenesis is mediated through a metabolic intermediate in bacteria and plant species. However, very little is known about the interaction of this intermediate with nucleic acids, its genotoxic potential, or its mechanism of action, especially in mammalian cells. Chinese hamster cells and normal human skin fibroblasts were treated with extracts from Salmonella typhimurium or Hordeum vulgare (barley) containing a crude mutagenic metabolite, as well as with synthetically produced azidoalanine. The cells were evaluated for the induction of sister chromatid exchanges and the ability to perform unscheduled DNA synthesis. With the purified azidoalanine and the azide‐treated extracts from Hordeum vulgare, there was a statistically significant increase in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges observed in both Chinese hamster cells and human fibroblasts. This increase was about twofold, as compared with the control. On the other hand, there was no detectable genotoxic response when cells were exposed to azide‐treated extract from Salmonella typhimurium. The results imply that azidoalanine and the crude mutagenic metabolite from Hordeum vulgare are weakly genotoxic in mammalian cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • CHO cells
  • UDS
  • human fibroblasts
  • sister chromatid exchange
  • sodium azide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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