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Mechanism Of The Antimycin A-mediated Enhancement Oft-butylhydroperoxide-induced Single-strand Breakage In DNA

Andrea GUIDARELLI, Emilio CLEMENTI, Liliana BRAMBILLA, Orazio CANTONI

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Inhibitors of complex III increased the DNA strand scission induced by t-butylhydroperoxide (tB-OOH) and cumene hydroperoxide but did not affect DNA damage induced by H2O2. The hypothesis that these effects are selectively linked to inhibition of the electron transport from cytochrome b to cytochrome c1 is validated by the following observations: (1) two complex III inhibitors, antimycin A and 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide, enhanced the tB-OOH-induced DNA cleavage over the same concentration range as that in which inhibition of oxygen consumption was observed; (2) the complex III inhibitor-mediated enhancement of tB-OOH-induced DNA damage was abolished by the complex I inhibitor rotenone or by glucose omission, and (3) the enhancing effects of antimycin A were not observed in respiration-deficient cells. The mechanism whereby the complex III inhibitors potentiate DNA cleavage promoted by tB-OOH was subsequently investigated with intact as well as permeabilized cells. H2O2, produced at the level of mitochondria via a Ca2+-dependent process, was found to account for the enhancing effects of antimycin A.