Inhibition of repair-related DNA polymerases by vitamin Ks, their related quinone derivatives and associated inflammatory activity (Review)

Int J Oncol. 2013 Mar;42(3):793-802. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.1771. Epub 2013 Jan 15.


Vitamin Ks (VKs) are fat-soluble quinone compounds known to have various bioactivities. This review describes the inflammatory effects of VKs and their related quinone derivatives based on DNA polymerase (pol) inhibition. VK3, but not VK1 or VK2 (=MK-4), inhibited the activity of human pol γ, which is the DNA replicative pol in mitochondria. Of the intermediate compounds between VK2 and VK3 (namely MK-3, MK-2 and MK-1), MK-2 was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α, κ and λ, which belong to the B-, Y- and X-families of pols, respectively. Among the VK3 based quinone derivatives, such as 1,4-naphthoquinone (NQ), 2-dimethyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (1,2-dimethyl-NQ), 1,4-benzoquinone (BQ), 9,10-anthraquinone (AQ) and 5,12-naphthacenequinone (NCQ), NQ was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α and λ, in particular, DNA repair-related pol λ. Among the all compounds tested, NQ displayed the strongest suppression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a cell culture system using RAW264.7 mouse macrophages. NQ also suppressed the expression of pol λ protein in these cells, after LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells were stimulated to induce pol λ expression. In an in vivo mouse model of LPS-evoked acute inflammation, intraperitoneal injection of NQ into mice suppressed TNF-α production in peritoneal macrophages and serum. In an in vivo colitis mouse model induced using dextran sulfate sodium (DSS), NQ markedly suppressed DSS-evoked colitis. The promising anti-inflammatory candidates based on the inhibition of DNA repair-related pols, such as pol λ, by VKs quinone derivatives, such as NQ, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Polymerase I / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA Polymerase beta / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA Polymerase gamma
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Naphthoquinones / pharmacology*
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Vitamin K* / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin K* / chemistry
  • Vitamin K* / metabolism


  • Naphthoquinones
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin K
  • DNA polymerase beta2
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • DNA Polymerase beta
  • DNA Polymerase gamma
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • POLK protein, human
  • 1,4-naphthoquinone