Cell biology and toxicology

Baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone) reduces oxidative stress-induced DNA damage by upregulating the DNA repair system.

PMID 23011636


Oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) induces DNA base modifications and DNA strand breaks. In this study, the protective effect of baicalein against H(2)O(2)-induced DNA damage was investigated in V79-4 Chinese hamster fibroblast cells. H(2)O(2) treatment increased the levels of intracellular ROS and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and decreased the level of Ku70 protein and the phosphorylation (activation) of DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), which are involved in the repair of DSBs by nonhomologous end joining. Baicalein effectively scavenged intracellular ROS induced by H(2)O(2), reduced DSBs, and rescued Ku70 protein level and phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs. In cellular response to DNA base damage, 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (OGG1) plays a vital role in the removal of 8-oxoguanine (8-OxoG), which is formed mainly by oxidative stress. Baicalein significantly decreased the levels of 8-OxoG induced by H(2)O(2), and this correlated with increases in OGG1 promoter activity and OGG1 mRNA and protein expression. The phosphorylated form of Akt kinase, which is a regulator of OGG1, was sharply decreased by H(2)O(2), but was prevented by baicalein. A specific Akt inhibitor abolished the cytoprotective effects of baicalein, suggesting that OGG1 induction by baicalein involves the Akt pathway. In conclusion, baicalein exerted protective effects against DNA damage induced by oxidative stress by activating DNA repair systems and scavenging ROS.