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definition - Genotoxicity

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Genotoxicity

                   

In genetics, genotoxicity describes a deleterious action on a cell's genetic material affecting its integrity. This includes both certain chemical compounds and certain types of radiation. Genotoxic substances are all those with affinity to interact with DNA - which is not proof of their dangerousness to humans, but does render them potentially mutagenic or cancerogenic.

Typical genotoxins like aromatic amines are believed to cause mutations because they are nucleophilic and form strong covalent bonds with DNA resulting with the formation of Aromatic Amine-DNA adducts, preventing accurate replication.

Genotoxins affecting sperm and eggs can pass genetic changes down to descendants who have never been exposed to the genotoxin.

The term "genotoxic" started being more commonly used after the publication by Lars Ehrenberg et al., in 1973, of "The relation of cancer induction and genetic damage. In: Evalutaion of Genetic Risks of Environmental Chemicals. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences" - on the relation between genetic damage and cancer.

  See also

  Bibliography

  • Jha AN, Cheung VV, Foulkes ME, Hill SJ, Detection of genotoxins in the marine environment: adoption and evaluation of an integrated approach using the embryo-larval stages of the marine mussel, Mytilus edulis ; Depledge MH. Mutat Res. 2000 Jan 24; 464(2):213-28 (Summary).

  References

  • Bal, Wojciech; Protas, Anna Maria; Kasprzak, Kazimierz S. (2011). "Chapter 13. Genotoxicity of metal ions: chemical insights". Metal ions in toxicology: effects, interactions, interdependencies. Metal Ions in Life Sciences. 8. RSC Publishing. pp. 319–373. DOI:10.1039/9781849732116-00319. 
  • Environ Health Perspect 104(Suppl 6):1219-1225 (1996) - The Mechanism of Benzene-induced Leukemia: A Hypothesis and Speculations on the Causes of Leukemia
   
               

 

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