Chromosomal genotoxicity of nitrobenzene and benzonitrile

Bonacker, D., Stoiber, T., Böhm, K. J., Unger, E., Degen, G. H., Thier, R., & Bolt, H. M. (2004) Chromosomal genotoxicity of nitrobenzene and benzonitrile. Archives of Toxicology, 78(1), pp. 49-57.

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In order to investigate the chromosomal genotoxicity of nitrobenzene and benzonitrile, we studied the induction of micronuclei (MN) by these test compounds in V79 cells, as well as effects on the formation and stability of microtubules and on motor protein functions. No cytotoxicity was seen in V79 cell cultures in terms of Neutral red uptake after 18 h treatment with up to 1 mM nitrobenzene or 1 mM benzonitrile. Subsequently, a concentration range up to 100 μM was used in the experiments on induction of MN. Both test compounds exhibit a weak, but definitely positive test result compared to the solvent (DMSO) control. Minimal effect concentrations of nitrobenzene and benzonitrile appeared as low as 0.01 μM, and no-effect-concentrations were between 0.001 and 0.005 μM. Clearly enhanced MN rates were found at 0.1 μM and higher. Both, nitrobenzene and benzonitrile, induced mostly kinetochor (CREST)-positive micronuclei, thus characterising the chromosomal effects as aneugenic. In cell-free assays, a slight effect on tubulin assembly was observed at 1 mM nitrobenzene without addition of DMSO. Higher concentrations (5 mM) led to secondary effects. In presence of 1% DMSO, nitrobenzene exerted no detectable effect on tubulin assembly up to the solubility limit in water of about 15 mM. For benzonitrile in presence of DMSO, a clear dose-response of inhibition of tubulin assembly at 37°C was seen above the no-effect-concentration of 2 mM, with an IC50 of 13 mM and protein denaturation starting above a level of about 20 mM. The nature of the effects of nitrobenzene and benzonitrile on the association of tubulin to form microtubules was confirmed by electron microscopy. Treatment by either 5 mM nitrobenzene or 13 mM benzonitrile plus 1% DMSO left the microtubular structure intact whereas 5 mM nitrobenzene, in absence of DMSO, led to irregular cluster formations. The experiments demonstrate that both nitrobenzene and benzonitrile, in millimolar concentration ranges, may lead to interference with tubulin assembly in a cell-free system. The functionality of the tubulin-kinesin motor protein system was assessed using the microtubule gliding assay. Nitrobenzene affected the gliding velocity in a concentration-dependent manner, starting at about 7.5 μM and reaching complete inhibition of motility at 30 μM, whereas benzonitrile up to 200 μM did not affect the kinesin-driven gliding velocity. The micronucleus assay data demonstrate a chromosomal endpoint of genotoxicity of nitrobenzene and benzonitrile. Aneugenic effects of both compounds occur at remarkably low concentrations, with lowest-effect-concentrations being 0.1 μM. This points to the relevance of interactions with the cellular spindle apparatus.

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ID Code: 77445
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Aneugenic effects, Benzonitrile, Kinesin, Micronucleus assay, Motor proteins, Nitrobenzene, Threshold genotoxins, Tubulin, animal cell, article, controlled study, cytotoxicity, electron microscopy, genotoxicity, IC 50, micronucleus, microtubule, nonhuman, priority journal, protein function, velocity, Animals, Cell Line, Cell Survival, Cricetinae, Cytoskeleton, Fibroblasts, Micronucleus Tests, Mutagens, Neutral Red, Nitriles, Nitrobenzenes, Animalia
DOI: 10.1007/s00204-003-0508-1
ISSN: 0340-5761
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Springer
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2014 00:09
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2014 00:59

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