Journal of applied toxicology : JAT

Carcinogenic chromium(VI)-induced protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation: implications in DNA-protein crosslinking.

PMID 18615841


Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] compounds are Group-I human carcinogens. Cr(VI)-induced DNA-protein crosslinks (DPCs) have been implicated in the mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of Cr(VI). Although multiple mechanisms have been suggested for Cr(VI)-induced DNA-protein crosslinking, the mechanism of formation of DNA-protein crosslinks is not well understood. In this study, we explored the hypothesis that Cr(VI)-induced DPCs could be formed via generation of protein carbonyls and malonaldehyde (MDA) through protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation, respectively. Treatment of human leukemic T-lymphocyte MOLT4 cells with potassium chromate induced the formation of protein carbonyls and DPCs within 2 h, but increased the level of MDA only after 4 h, in a dose-dependent manner. Chromate treatment of MOLT4 cell homogenates also resulted in increased formation of MDA and protein carbonyls in a dose-dependent manner. EPR spectrometry in combination with spin trapping techniques revealed that reaction of Cr(VI) with biological reductants such as NADPH, glutathione reductase or H(2)O(2) generates Cr(V) and (*)OH radicals. Pretreatment of cells with antioxidants such as alpha-tocopherol or Tiron inhibited chromate-induced increase in formation of protein carbonyls, MDA and DPCs, but pretreatment of cells with riboflavin or 3-aminotriazole, a catalase inhibitor, had the opposite effect. Our results, for the first time, demonstrate that Cr(VI) exposure increases the cellular level of protein carbonyls and that Cr(VI)-induced DPCs may be formed, at least in part, via generation of protein carbonyls.