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Using filter elution techniques, we have measured the level of induced single- and double-strand DNA breaks and the rate of strand break rejoining following exposure of two Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell mutants to bleomycin or neocarzinostatin. These mutants, designated BLM-1 and BLM-2, were isolated on the basis of hypersensitivity to bleomycin and are cross-sensitive to a range of other free radical-generating agents, but exhibit enhanced resistance to neocarzinostatin. A 1-h exposure to equimolar doses of bleomycin induces a similar level of DNA strand breaks in parental CHO-K1 and mutant BLM-1 cells, but a consistently higher level is accumulated by BLM-2 cells. The rate of rejoining of bleomycin-induced single- and double-strand DNA breaks is slower in BLM-2 cells than in CHO-K1 cells. BLM-1 cells show normal strand break repair kinetics. The level of single- and double-strand breaks induced by neocarzinostatin is lower in both BLM-1 and BLM-2 cells than in CHO-K1 cells. The rate of repair of neocarzinostatin-induced strand breaks is normal in BLM-1 cells but retarded somewhat in BLM-2 cells. Thus, there is a correlation between the level of drug-induced DNA damage in BLM-2 cells and the bleomycin-sensitive, neocarzinostatin resistant phenotype of this mutant. Strand breaks induced by both of these agents are also repaired with reduced efficiency by BLM-2 cells. The neocarzinostatin resistance of BLM-1 cells appears to be a consequence of a reduced accumulation of DNA damage. However, the bleomycin-sensitive phenotype of BLM-1 cells does not apparently correlate with any alteration in DNA strand break induction or repair, as analysed by filter elution techniques, suggesting an alternative mechanism of cell killing.


Journal article


Mutat Res

Publication Date





93 - 100


Animals, Bleomycin, Cell Line, Cricetinae, Cricetulus, DNA Damage, DNA Repair, Female, Mutation, Ovary, X-Rays, Zinostatin