Dietary bioflavonoids induce cleavage in the MLL gene and may contribute to infant leukemia
Sommaire de l'article
Chromosomal translocations involving the MLL gene occur in about 80% of infant leukemia. In the search for possible agents inducing infant leukemia, we identified bioflavonoids, natural substances in food as well as in dietary supplements, that cause site-specific DNA cleavage in the MLL breakpoint cluster region (BCR) in vivo. The MLL BCR DNA cleavage was shown in primary progenitor hematopoietic cells from healthy newborns and adults as well as in cell lines; it colocalized with the MLL BCR cleavage site induced by chemotherapeutic agents, such as etoposide (VP16) and doxorubicin (Dox). Both in vivo and additional in vitro experiments demonstrated topoisomerase II (topo II) as the target of bioflavonoids similar to VP16 and Dox. Based on 20 bioflavonoids tested, we identified a common structure essential for topo II-induced DNA cleavage. Reversibility experiments demonstrated a religation of the bioflavonoid as well as the VP16-induced MLL cleavage site. Our observations support a two-stage model of cellular processing of topo II inhibitors: The first and reversible stage of topo II-induced DNA cleavage results in DNA repair, but also rarely in chromosome translocations; whereas the second, nonreversible stage leads to cell death because of an accumulation of DNA damage. These results suggest that maternal ingestion of bioflavonoids may induce MLL breaks and potentially translocations in utero leading to infant and early childhood leukemia.