Increased DNA-protein crosslinks in lymphocytes of residents living in chromium-contaminated areas

Emanuela Taioli, Anatoly Zhitkovich, Patrick Kinney, Iris Udasin, Paolo Toniolo, Max Costa

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It has been known for a number of years that chromium-containing mine slags were used as landfill in residential areas of Hudson County, New Jersey. Since one of the major lesions induced in intact cells by chromate is the DNA-Protein crosslink, we have used this lesion as a biomarker of biological effect of chromium (Cr) exposure. We have previously developed a sensitive and easy-to-perform assay to detect DNA-Protein crosslinks, based on the selective K SDS precipitation of DNA associated with protein. We examined the levels of DNA-Protein crosslinks in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 33 individuals determined to be at risk for chromium exposure by virtue of their residence in Hudson County and their urinary Cr levels. These data were compared to the levels of DNA-Protein crosslinks among 49 controls who resided in noncontaminated areas. A complete clinical examination and urine analysis did not show any Cr-related abnormalities among the exposed population. The mean DNA-Protein crosslink level in the lymphocytes of the exposed group was 1.3±0.5% (SD), whereas the unexposed group had 0.8±0.4% (p<0.001), after adjustment for age, gender, race, smoking, and weight. Further studies in this population are needed to confirm the possible association between the high levels of DNA-Protein crosslink and Cr exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • DNA-Protein crosslink
  • chromium
  • environmental exposure


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