Oxidative stress to DNA is recognized as one of the mechanisms for the carcinogenic effects of some environmental agents. Numerous studies have been conducted in an attempt to document the fact that chemical carcinogens that are thought to induce production of oxidants also cause the formation of oxidative DNA lesions. Although many DNA adducts continue to be useful biomarkers of dose/effect, changes in gene expression have been proposed to be a practical novel tool for studying the role of chemically induced oxidative DNA damage. Here, we hypothesized that expression of base excision DNA repair genes is a sensitive biomarker for in vivo detection of chemically induced chronic oxidative stress. To test this hypothesis, mice were treated with a known rodent carcinogen and peroxisome proliferator, WY-14,643 (500 ppm, 1 month). A number of end points that are commonly used to assess oxidative DNA damage were considered. Our data demonstrate that no difference in 8-oxoguanine, the number of abasic sites, or single strand breaks can be detected in genomic DNA from livers of control or WY-treated animals. However, a concordant marked induction of genes specific for the long-patch base excision DNA repair, a predominant pathway that removes oxidized DNA lesions in vivo, was observed in livers of WY-treated mice. Kupffer cell NADPH oxidase, and peroxisomes in parenchymal cells have been proposed as the potential sources of peroxisome proliferator-induced oxidants. The analysis of expression of base excision DNA repair genes was used to assess whether this biomarker of oxidative stress can be used to determine the source of oxidants. The data suggest that DNA-damaging oxidants are generated by enzymes that are induced after activation of peroxisome proliferator activator receptor α, such as those involved in lipid metabolism in peroxisomes, and are not the result of activation of NADPH oxidase in Kupffer cells. We conclude that expression of base excision DNA repair genes is a sensitive in vivo biomarker for chemically induced oxidative stress to DNA that can be successfully used for the identification of the molecular source of radicals responsible for DNA damage in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research