Interception of Toxic Agents/Mutagens/Carcinogens: Some of Nature’s Novel Strategies

  • Philip E. Hartman
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 39)


In this section focused on mechanisms of action of antimutagens and anticarcinogens, it might be well to note that there are a wide variety of levels at which defense mechanisms operate. Nature provides numerous diverse examples at each level. The following descriptions center on the flow of interests of my own laboratory over a period of years. The descriptions will highlight a few of the many mechanisms that serve to “intercept” potential mutagens and carcinogens before these deleterious molecules can attack critical cells (“stem cells,” see Ref. 35) or, once in a critical cell, before the DNA can be reached, to elicit a potentially mutagenic lesion. It will be tacitly assumed that lesions in DNA are a most important component in formation of focal lesions during the lifespan. As pointed out elsewhere, such focal lesions are certain to be of critical importance not only in carcinogenesis but also in a wide array of additional situations that compromise the human condition and collectively constitute an important aspect of physiological “aging” (27, 29).


Gastric Cancer Gastric Mucosa Singlet Oxygen Focal Lesion Gastric Lumen 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip E. Hartman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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