Background & Aims: Chronic inflammation, a risk factor for the development of bile duct cancer, induces inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) with nitric oxide (NO) generation, which promotes oxidative damage of DNA, a process that probably is important in the initiation and progression of malignancies. Because inhibition of DNA repair is required for accumulation of oxidative DNA lesions, our aim was to determine if NO also inhibits repair of oxidative DNA damage. Methods: A cholangiocarcinoma cell line and a cholangiocyte cell line were transfected with iNOS. Results: Extracts from transfected but not untransfected cells were unable to repair 8-oxodeoxyguanine (8-oxodG); this effect was irreversible because addition of dithiothreitol to cell extracts had no effect. NO inhibition of 8-oxodG repair was blocked by NO scavengers but not by peroxynitrite scavengers or inhibitors of the soluble guanylyl cyclase/protein kinase G pathway. NO also potentiated hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage. Finally, immunohistochemistry in human liver samples uniformly demonstrated de novo expression of iNOS and the presence of 3-nitrotyrosine and 8-oxodG formation in the biliary epithelia of 30 patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (a premalignant disease of the biliary tract) compared with controls. Conclusions: Collectively, these data implicate NO-mediated inhibition of 8-oxodG base excision DNA repair processes as a mechanism potentiating DNA damage in human inflammatory diseases involving the biliary tract.
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