Reactive oxygen species and DNA damage in 2-Bromo-(glutathione-S-yl) hydroquinone-mediated cytotoxicity

Jos J.W.M. Mertens, Neil W. Gibson, Serrine S. Lau, Terrence J. Monks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Exposure of renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (LLC-PK1) to the nephrotoxicants 2-bromo-6-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone, 2-bromo-3-(glutathion-S-yl)-hydroquinone, and 2-bromo-(diglutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone caused DNA fragmentation and cytotoxicity. Viability measured by lysosomal neutral red accumicrolation was the most sensitive parameter of cytotoxicity, and preceded toxicity determined by either the mitochondrial MTT assay or by measuring intracellular lactate dehydrogenase activity. DNA fragmentation was detected as early as 15 min after exposure to 2-bromo-6-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone (100 μM), 2-bromo-3-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone (200 μM), and 2-bromo-(diglutathion-S-yl) hydroquinone (400 μM) and prior to other indices of toxicity. The ability of the cells to repair DNA damage was evident by the decrease in the extent of single strand breaks following removal of 2-bromo-3-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone from the incubation medium. Moreover, inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase with 3-amino-benzamide (10 nM), following exposure of LLC-PK1 cells to 0.5 mM 2-bromo-6-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone or 2-bromo-(diglutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone, decreased cytotoxicity, indicating that DNA repair processes, activated in response to DNA damage, exacerbate toxicity. Treatment with the endonuclease inhibitor, aurintricarboxylic acid did not decrease cytotoxicity. A decrease in the cytotoxicity caused by 2-bromo-6-(glutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone and 2-bromo(diglutathion-S-yl)hydroquinone was observed when cells were incubated with catalase or pretreated with deferoxamine (10 mM). The data suggest a mechanism whereby the conjugates generate hydrogen peroxide, and the subsequent iron-catalyzed generation of hydroxyl radicals causes DNA fragmentation and cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 20 1995


  • Aurintricarboxylic acid
  • DNA fragmentation
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Iron
  • MTT
  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Neutral red
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase
  • Quinone thioethers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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