DNA damage in human respiratory tract epithelial cells: damage by gas phase cigarette smoke apparently involves attack by reactive nitrogen species in addition to oxygen radicals

FEBS Lett. 1995 Nov 20;375(3):179-82. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(95)01199-o.


Treatment of human respiratory tract tracheobronchial epithelial cells with gas-phase cigarette smoke led to dose-dependent DNA strand breakage that was highly correlated with multiple chemical modifications of all four DNA bases. The pattern of base damage suggests attack by hydroxyl radicals (OH.). However, by far the most important base damage in quantitative terms was formation of xanthine and hypoxanthine, presumably resulting from deamination of guanine and adenine respectively. Hence, DNA damage by cigarette smoke may involve reactive nitrogen species as well as reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Bronchi
  • Cell Line
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA Damage*
  • Epithelium
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyl Radical*
  • Hypoxanthine
  • Hypoxanthines / analysis*
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • Smoking*
  • Xanthine
  • Xanthines / analysis*


  • Hypoxanthines
  • Smoke
  • Xanthines
  • Xanthine
  • Hypoxanthine
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Guanine
  • DNA
  • Adenine