Hydrogen peroxide, a potent inducer of global genomic instability

  • Lei Qi
  • Xue-Chang Wu
  • Dao-Qiong ZhengEmail author


Oxidative stress has been implicated in a variety of human diseases. One plausible mechanism is that reactive active species can induce DNA damages and jeopardize genome integrity. To explore how oxidative stress results in global genomic instability in cells, our current study examined the genomic alterations caused by H2O2 exposure at the whole genome level in yeast. Using SNP microarrays and genome sequencing, we mapped H2O2-induced genomic alterations in the yeast genome ranging from point mutations and mitotic recombination to chromosomal aneuploidy. Our results suggested most H2O2-induced mitotic recombination events were the result of DNA double-stand breaks generated by hydroxyl radicals. Moreover, the mutagenic effect of H2O2 was shown to be largely dependent on DNA polymerase ζ. Lastly, we showed that H2O2 exposure allows rapid phenotypic evolution in yeast strains. Our findings indicate DNA lesions resulting from H2O2 may be general factors that drive genome instability and phenotypic evolution in organisms.


Oxidative stress DNA breaks Genomic instability Mitotic recombination Phenotypic evolution 



This research was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LY18C060002) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean CollegeZhejiang UniversityZhoushanChina
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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