Estragole, naturally occurring in a variety of herbs and spices, can form DNA adducts after bioactivation. Estragole DNA adduct formation and repair was studied in in vitro liver cell models, and a molecular dynamics simulation was used to investigate the conformation dependent (in)efficiency of N2-(trans-isoestragol-3′-yl)-2′-deoxyguanosine (E-3′-N2-dG) DNA adduct repair. HepG2, HepaRG cells, primary rat hepatocytes and CHO cells (including CHO wild-type and three NER-deficient mutants) were exposed to 50 μM estragole or 1′-hydroxyestragole and DNA adduct formation was quantified by LC–MS immediately following exposure and after a period of repair. Results obtained from CHO cell lines indicated that NER plays a role in repair of E-3′-N2-dG adducts, however, with limited efficiency since in the CHO wt cells 80% DNA adducts remained upon 24 h repair. Inefficiency of DNA repair was also found in HepaRG cells and primary rat hepatocytes. Changes in DNA structure resulting from E-3′-N2-dG adduct formation were investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. Results from molecular dynamics simulations revealed that conformational changes in double-stranded DNA by E-3′-N2-dG adduct formation are small, providing a possible explanation for the restrained repair, which may require larger distortions in the DNA structure. NER-mediated enzymatic repair of E-3′-N2-dG DNA adducts upon exposure to estragole will be limited, providing opportunities for accumulation of damage upon repeated daily exposure. The inability of this enzymatic repair is likely due to a limited distortion of the DNA double-stranded helix resulting in inefficient activation of nucleotide excision repair.
- DNA adduct
- DNA repair efficiency
- Molecular modeling and simulation