Assessment of genotoxicity of methyl-tert-butyl ether, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene to human lymphocytes using comet assay

Colin S. Chen, You C. Hseu, Shih H. Liang, Jar Yi Kuo, Ssu C. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a gasoline oxygenate and antiknock additive substituting for lead alkyls currently in use worldwide. Benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) are volatile monoaromatic hydrocarbons which are commonly found together in crude petroleum and petroleum products such as gasoline. The aim of this study is to evaluate the genotoxic effects of these tested chemicals in human lymphocytes. Using the alkaline comet assay, we showed that all of the tested chemicals induce DNA damage in isolated human lymphocytes. This effect could follow from the induction of DNA strands breaks. The neutral version of the test revealed that MTBE, benzene, and xylenes induce DNA double-strand breaks at 200 μM. Apart from MTBE, the spin traps, 5,5-dimethyl-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO) and N-tert-butyl-α-phenylnitrone (PBN) can decrease the level of DNA damage in BTEX at 200 μM. This indicated that DNA damage could result from the participation of free radicals in DNA-damaging effect, which was further supported by the fact that post-treatment of formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg), enzyme recognizing oxidized DNA purines, gave rise to a significant increase in the extent of DNA damage in cells treated with benzene, and xylene at 200 μM. The results obtained suggested that MTBE and BTEX could induce a variety type of DNA damage such as single-strand breaks (SSBs), double-strand breaks (DSBs), and oxidative base modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Volume153
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2008

Keywords

  • BTEX
  • DNA strands breaks
  • Lymphocyte
  • MTBE
  • Spin traps

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of genotoxicity of methyl-tert-butyl ether, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene to human lymphocytes using comet assay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this