Title

Comparative DNA Cross-Linking by Activated Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Food and Chemical Toxicology

Volume

37

Issue

6

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

1999

First Page

619

Last Page

625

DOI

10.1016/S0278-6915(99)00025-3

Abstract

The toxicity and bioactivity of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), common constituents of hundreds of plant species, and in herbal remedies and folk medicines prepared thereof, are probably due to their ability to form DNA cross-linking. We investigated DNA cross-linking activity by chemically-activated PAs from four different structural classes in Madin–Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells and in pBR322 DNA. In cell culture, α,β-unsaturated macrocyclic diester pyrroles dehydrosenecionine (DHSN), dehydroriddelliine (DHRD) and the saturated macrocyclic diester pyrrole dehydromonocrotaline (DHMO) were significantly more potent cross-linkers than the simple necine base (retronecine) and an N-oxide (indicine N-oxide; INO) as determined by alkaline elution. The proportion of total DNA cross-links that were proteinase K-resistant (DNA–DNA cross-links) induced by the various pyrroles ranged from 0.08 (DHRN) to 0.67 (DHSN). Those pyrroles that were potent cross-linkers of cellular DNA also cross-linked, in a dose-dependent manner, Bam H1-digested pBR322 DNA as assessed by a gel retardation assay. The possible functional relevance of pyrrole–DNA cross-links was determined by their ability to interrupt PCR amplification of a 1.129 kb segment of pBR322. Dehydrosenecionine completely inhibited amplification, while DHMO was of intermediate potency, while DHRN and INO had no effect. Taken together, these studies suggest that structural features, most notably the presence of a macrocyclic diester, confer potent cross-link activity to PAs. In any event, DNA–DNA cross-linking is probably biologically relevant as indicated by their interference with DNA replication.

Comments

Originally published by Elsevier. Publisher's PDF and HTML fulltext available through remote link.