The environmental carcinogen 3-nitrobenzanthrone and its main metabolite 3-aminobenzanthrone enhance formation of reactive oxygen intermediates in human A549 lung epithelial cells

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The environmental contaminant 3-nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA) is highly mutagenic and a suspected human carcinogen. We aimed to evaluate whether 3-NBA is able to deregulate critical steps in cell cycle control and apoptosis in human lung epithelial A549 cells. Increased intracellular Ca2+ and caspase activities were detected upon 3-NBA exposure. As shown by cell cycle analysis, an increased number of S-phase cells was observed after 24 h of treatment with 3-NBA. Furthermore, 3-NBA was shown to inhibit cell proliferation when added to subconfluent cell cultures. The main metabolite of 3-NBA, 3-ABA, induced statistically significant increases in tail moment as judged by alkaline comet assay. The potential of 3-NBA and 3-ABA to enhance the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was demonstrated by flow cytometry using 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA). The enzyme inhibitors allopurinol, dicumarol, resveratrol and SKF525A were used to assess the impact of metabolic conversion on 3-NBA-mediated ROS production. Resveratrol decreased dichlorofluorescein (DCF) fluorescence by 50%, suggesting a role for CYP1A1 in 3-NBA-mediated ROS production. Mitochondrial ROS production was significantly attenuated (20% reduction) by addition of rotenone (complex I inhibition) and thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA, complex II inhibition). Taken together, the results of the present study provide evidence for a genotoxic potential of 3-ABA in human epithelial lung cells. Moreover, both compounds lead to increased intracellular ROS and create an environment favorable to DNA damage and the promotion of cancer.

    loading  Loading Related Articles