Melphalan-induced DNA damage in p53

Eugenia Cordelli, Serena Cinelli, Antonella Lascialfari, Roberto Ranaldi, Francesca Pacchierotti

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Melphalan is an alkylating substance used as a therapeutic agent; its mutagenicity is related to its ability to produce monoadducts and to form DNA cross-links. The alkaline comet assay is a useful test for the detection of DNA lesions. However, cross-links are not easily detected under standard conditions. Recently, modifications to the test have been introduced to measure cross-links by evaluating the reduction in induced DNA migration. In this work, the standard comet assay and an assay modified by prolonging the electrophoresis time have been applied to evaluate DNA lesions induced by single, 4 or 26 weekly oral administrations of melphalan to p53+/-knockout and to isotype parental mice. Cells were analysed from the liver, bone marrow, peripheral blood and the distal intestine. Moreover, a further protocol in which the presence of cross-links was inferred by the reduction in X-ray-induced DNA migration was applied to bone marrow cells and the sensitivity of the different methods was compared. The majority of groups examined by the standard protocol showed no difference compared to controls, while the modified protocol (prolonged electrophoresis time) could detect a retarded DNA migration in cells from all the organs analysed with the exception of bone marrow cells. Only the protocol based on X-ray in vitro irradiation showed the presence of melphalan-induced cross-links in bone marrow cells exposed to 2 mg/kg for 4 weeks, demonstrating that this was the most sensitive approach for detecting this type of lesion. DNA lesions were evident in all the organs analysed. However, results suggest that the kinetics of cross-link repair could be different in bone marrow cells compared to other organs tested. After comparison between genotype-matched treated and control groups, a significant effect was shown more frequently in p53+/-than in wild type groups. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133 - 143
Number of pages11
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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