Mutation research

Genotoxicity testing: Comparison of the γH2AX focus assay with the alkaline and neutral comet assays.

PMID 28844237


Genotoxicity testing relies on the quantitative measurement of adverse effects, such as chromosome aberrations, micronuclei, and mutations, resulting from primary DNA damage. Ideally, assays will detect DNA damage and cellular responses with high sensitivity, reliability, and throughput. Several novel genotoxicity assays may fulfill these requirements, including the comet assay and the more recently developed γH2AX assay. Although they are thought to be specific for genotoxicants, a systematic comparison of the assays has not yet been undertaken. In the present study, we compare the γH2AX focus assay with the alkaline and neutral versions of the comet assay, as to their sensitivities and limitations for detection of genetic damage. We investigated the dose-response relationships of γH2AX foci and comet tail intensities at various times following treatment with four prototypical genotoxicants, methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG), mitomycin C, and hydrogen peroxide (H