• Alkylpurine-DNA-N-glycosylase knockout mice show increased susceptibility to induction of mutations by methyl methanesulfonate.

      Elder, Rhoderick H; Jansen, J G; Weeks, Robert J; Willington, Mark; Deans, Bryan; Watson, Amanda J; Mynett, Kurt J; Bailey, John; Cooper, Donald P; Rafferty, Joseph A; et al. (1998-10)
      Alkylpurine-DNA-N-glycosylase (APNG) null mice have been generated by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. The null status of the animals was confirmed at the mRNA level by reverse transcription-PCR and by the inability of cell extracts of tissues from the knockout (ko) animals to release 3-methyladenine (3-meA) or 7-methylguanine (7-meG) from 3H-methylated calf thymus DNA in vitro. Following treatment with DNA-methylating agents, increased persistence of 7-meG was found in liver sections of APNG ko mice in comparison with wild-type (wt) mice, demonstrating an in vivo phenotype for the APNG null animals. Unlike other null mutants of the base excision repair pathway, the APNG ko mice exhibit a very mild phenotype, show no outward abnormalities, are fertile, and have an apparently normal life span. Neither a difference in the number of leukocytes in peripheral blood nor a difference in the number of bone marrow polychromatic erythrocytes was found when ko and wt mice were exposed to methylating or chloroethylating agents. These agents also showed similar growth-inhibitory effects in primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from ko and wt mice. However, treatment with methyl methanesulfonate resulted in three- to fourfold more hprt mutations in splenic T lymphocytes from APNG ko mice than in those from wt mice. These mutations were predominantly single-base-pair changes; in the ko mice, they consisted primarily of AT-->TA and GC-->TA transversions, which most likely are caused by 3-meA and 3- or 7-meG, respectively. These results clearly show an important role for APNG in attenuating the mutagenic effects of N-alkylpurines in vivo.
    • Increased susceptibility to streptozotocin-induced beta-cell apoptosis and delayed autoimmune diabetes in alkylpurine-DNA-N-glycosylase-deficient mice.

      Cardinal, John W; Margison, Geoffrey P; Mynett, Kurt J; Yates, Allen P; Cameron, Donald P; Elder, Rhoderick H; Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Brisbane 4102, Australia. (2001-08)
      Type 1 diabetes is thought to occur as a result of the loss of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells by an environmentally triggered autoimmune reaction. In rodent models of diabetes, streptozotocin (STZ), a genotoxic methylating agent that is targeted to the beta cells, is used to trigger the initial cell death. High single doses of STZ cause extensive beta-cell necrosis, while multiple low doses induce limited apoptosis, which elicits an autoimmune reaction that eliminates the remaining cells. We now show that in mice lacking the DNA repair enzyme alkylpurine-DNA-N-glycosylase (APNG), beta-cell necrosis was markedly attenuated after a single dose of STZ. This is most probably due to the reduction in the frequency of base excision repair-induced strand breaks and the consequent activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), which results in catastrophic ATP depletion and cell necrosis. Indeed, PARP activity was not induced in APNG(-/-) islet cells following treatment with STZ in vitro. However, 48 h after STZ treatment, there was a peak of apoptosis in the beta cells of APNG(-/-) mice. Apoptosis was not observed in PARP-inhibited APNG(+/+) mice, suggesting that apoptotic pathways are activated in the absence of significant numbers of DNA strand breaks. Interestingly, STZ-treated APNG(-/-) mice succumbed to diabetes 8 months after treatment, in contrast to previous work with PARP inhibitors, where a high incidence of beta-cell tumors was observed. In the multiple-low-dose model, STZ induced diabetes in both APNG(-/-) and APNG(+/+) mice; however, the initial peak of apoptosis was 2.5-fold greater in the APNG(-/-) mice. We conclude that APNG substrates are diabetogenic but by different mechanisms according to the status of APNG activity.