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. 2017 Feb;91(2):967-982.
doi: 10.1007/s00204-016-1672-4. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

The Brassica-derived Phytochemical indolo[3,2-b]carbazole Protects Against Oxidative DNA Damage by Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation

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The Brassica-derived Phytochemical indolo[3,2-b]carbazole Protects Against Oxidative DNA Damage by Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation

Dagmar Faust et al. Arch Toxicol. .

Abstract

Epidemiological studies suggest that a high intake of Brassica vegetables protects against colon carcinogenesis. Brassica vegetables are rich in glucosinolates which are hydrolysed during digestion to various products including indole-3-carbinol. In animal studies, a protective effect of indole-3-carbinol has been demonstrated in colon carcinogenesis. Indole-3-carbinol is highly unstable and, therefore, the observed protection likely results from condensation products of indole-3-carbinol, e.g. diindolylmethane or indolo[3,2-b]carbazole (ICZ). Interestingly, ICZ is a potent activator of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a transcription factor known to mediate toxic effects of environmental pollutants, such as dioxin and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Here, we show that ICZ protects against oxidative DNA damage in various cell lines including the colon carcinoma cell line Caco-2. When preincubated for 24 h, ICZ decreases DNA single-strand break (SSB) and 8-oxo-dG formation induced by tertiary-butylhydroperoxide (t-BOOH), hydrogen peroxide or benzo[a]pyrene. Simultaneous addition of ICZ does not protect against t-BOOH-induced SSB formation, which disproves a direct radical scavenging effect. The repair of SSBs was not enhanced, but the data indicate that ICZ attenuates the ROS level following t-BOOH. The antioxidant response factor Nrf2 was not activated following ICZ. Functional inhibition of the AhR and AhR-/ARNT-defective cell lines demonstrate that the AhR/ARNT pathway is mandatory for the observed ROS defence caused by ICZ, supporting the hypothesis that AhR-mediated regulation of defence genes is involved. The data point to a hitherto unknown protective function of ICZ and a novel role of the AhR in the defence against oxidative DNA damage.

Keywords: Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; Indolo[3,2-b]carbazole; Oxidative DNA damage; Protection.

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