Repair of Chemical Damage in Mammalian Cells

  • R. B. Setlow


The repair of chemical damage to DNA differs in many ways from the repair of radiation damage and its interpretation is often more complicated. For example, most chemicals of environmental concern do not react directly with cellular macromolecules but must first be activated to nucleophiles [1]. Hence the dosimetry of chemicals is complicated and may vary markedly from tissue to tissue, organelle to organelle [2] or from linker to the core region of DNA [3]. The different reactivities between agents reacting directly and those that react indirectly may give rise to products whose yields as a function of dose are completely different even though the products themselves may be the same. Thus Fig. 1 [4] shows a way of estimating chemical doses in vivo from alkylating agents in terms of the level of specific alkylation of hemoglobin. The direct acting agent methylmethanesulfonate (MMS) yields a linear response curve but alkylation from dimethylnitrosamine.(DMN), which needs activation, shows a much lower response and the response increases as some higher power of injected dose measured in mg/kg body weight. On the other hand the development of immunological probes for specific DNA damages offers the possibility of measuring such damages at levels of fmoles [5, 6].


Repair Pathway Base Excision Repair Ataxia Telangiectasia Xeroderma Pigmentosum Ataxia Telangiectasia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Setlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUptonUSA

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