DNA damage by singlet oxygen and cellular protective mechanisms

Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. Jul-Sep 2012;751(1):15-28. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2011.12.005. Epub 2012 Jan 14.


Reactive oxygen species, as singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)) and hydrogen peroxide, are continuously generated by aerobic organisms, and react actively with biomolecules. At excessive amounts, (1)O(2) induces oxidative stress and shows carcinogenic and toxic effects due to oxidation of lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Singlet oxygen is able to react with DNA molecule and may induce G to T transversions due to 8-oxodG generation. The nucleotide excision repair, base excision repair and mismatch repair have been implicated in the correction of DNA lesions induced by (1)O(2) both in prokaryotic and in eukaryotic cells. (1)O(2) is also able to induce the expression of genes involved with the cellular responses to oxidative stress, such as NF-κB, c-fos and c-jun, and genes involved with tissue damage and inflammation, as ICAM-1, interleukins 1 and 6. The studies outlined in this review reinforce the idea that (1)O(2) is one of the more dangerous reactive oxygen species to the cells, and deserves our attention.