Sodium azide mutagenesis in mammals: inability of mammalian cells to convert azide to a mutagenic intermediate

P. Arenaz, L. Hallberg, F. Mancillas, G. Gutierrez, S. Garcia

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Abstract

Sodium azide is unique among mutagens. It is highly mutagenic in many plant and bacterial species but marginally mutagenic in mammalian cells. A possible explanation for this difference in mutagenic efficiency may lie in the inability of mammalian cells to convert azide to the putative ultimate mutagen. Normal human fibroblasts and Chinese hamster cells or cell-free extracts from these cell lines were treated with azide and the sonicates tested for mutagenicity in Salmonella strain TA1530. The data suggest that neither cell line was capable of converting azide to a mutagenic intermediate. In addition, both cell lines expressed the enzyme O-acetylserine(thio)-lyase which is responsible for the conversion of azide to azidoalanine, the putative mutagenic intermediate. Although mammalian cells possess the enzyme responsible for the conversion of azide to azidoalanine, they appear incapable of converting azide into a mutagenic intermediate in appreciable quantities. Further, the data support the conclusion that azide may be further modified in mammalian cells to an intermediate that is not genotoxic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalMutation Research Letters
Volume227
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1989

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Keywords

  • Azidoalanine
  • Chinese hamster cells
  • Metabolic activation
  • O-Acetylserine(thio)-lyase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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