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To study the genetic changes that generate resistance to oxidants in mammalian cells, we isolated cell lines that are resistant to the naphthoquinone, menadione, from a Chinese hamster ovary cell line (CHO-K1). Corss-resistance to other oxidants (H2O2 and sodium arsenite) was observed. The IC50 of menadione (measured using a clonogenic assay) was 7.8-fold greater for one menadione-resistant cell line (MRc40) than for CHO-K1. Acquisition of resistance was associated with elevations of 2- and 3.2-fold in the low molecular weight thiols, glutathione and cysteine, respectively. Further, characterization demonstrated significant changes in the expression of enzymes associated with the oxidative stress response and with protection against oxidizing agents. The expressions of glutathione S-transferase pi (GST pi), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and heme oxygenase mRNAs were all increased. Accompanying these changes the enzyme activity of GST pi, GPX and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT) were also elevated. Interestingly, in a revertant cell line heme oxygenase overexpression approached wild-type levels. Intriguingly, similar changes in gene expression seen in the menadione-resistant cells were also observed in wild-type cells following transient oxidative stress, indicating that the observed changes in the resistant line may be due to the immortalization of a normally transient adaptive stress response.


Journal article



Publication Date





649 - 654


Animals, Arsenites, CHO Cells, Cricetinae, Drug Resistance, Hydrogen Peroxide, Oxidants, Oxidative Stress, Sodium Compounds, Vitamin K