The interaction of bleomycin A2 with rat lung microsomes results in bleomycin-mediated DNA chain breakage due to the mixed-function oxidase catalyzed activation of bleomycin. This study demonstrates that the addition of exogenous Fe3+ significantly enhances the bleomycin-mediated cleavage of DNA deoxyribose, that the enhancing effect of Fe3+ is maximum when a 1:1 ratio of bleomycin to Fe3+ is achieved and that either NADPH or NADH can serve as pyridine cofactors for this reaction. Since the activation of bleomycin can be facilitated by iron in the Fe2+ form, these observations support the hypothesis that the mixed-function oxidase system may serve to maintain either adventitious or exogenous iron in the Fe2+ form. In the absence of DNA, the interaction of bleomycin with rat lung microsomes results in the self-inactivation of bleomycin, a reaction which is also enhanced by the addition of exogenous Fe3+. Thus, the microsomal mixed-function oxidase system represents an efficient biological system for the 'activation-inactivation' of bleomycin.
- Bleomycin - DNA deoxyribose cleavage - Lung microsomes
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