Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 67–74

The positive response of Ty1 retrotransposition test to carcinogens is due to increased levels of reactive oxygen species generated by the genotoxins

  • Martin Dimitrov
  • Pencho Venkov
  • Margarita Pesheva
Genotoxicity and Carcinogenicity


In previous laboratory and environmental studies, the Ty1 short-term test showed positive responses (i.e. induced mobility of the Ty1 retrotransposon) to carcinogenic genotoxins. Here, we provide evidence for a causal relationship between increased level of reactive oxygen species and induction the mobility of the Ty1 retrotransposon. Results obtained in concentration and time-dependent experiments after treatment, the tester cells with carcinogenic genotoxins [benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, ethylmethanesulfonate, formamide], free bile acids (chenodeoxycholic, lithocholic acids) and metals (arsenic, hexavelant chromium, lead) showed a simultaneous increase in both cellular level of the superoxide anions and Ty1 retrotransposition rates. Treatment with the noncarcinogenic genotoxins [benzo(e)pyrene, benzo(b)anthracen, anthracene], conjugated bile acids (taurodeoxycholic, glycodeoxycholic acids) and metals (zinc, trivalent chromium) did not change significantly superoxide anions level and Ty1 retrotransposition rate. The induction by carcinogens of the Ty1 mobility seems to depend on the accumulation of superoxide anions, since the addition of the scavenger N-acetylcysteine resulted in loss of both increased amount of superoxide anions and induced Ty1 retrotransposition. Increased hydrogen peroxide levels are also involved in the induction of Ty1 retrotransposition rates in response to treatment with carcinogenic genotoxins, as evidenced by disruption of YAP1 gene in the tester cells. It is concluded that the carcinogen-induced high level of reactive oxygen species play a primary and key role in determination the selective response of Ty1 test to carcinogenic genotoxins.


Ty1 retrotransposition Carcinogens Reactive oxygen species 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Dimitrov
    • 1
  • Pencho Venkov
    • 2
  • Margarita Pesheva
    • 1
  1. 1.Sofia University Faculty of BiologySofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Institute of Cryobiology and Food TechnologySofiaBulgaria

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