Chrysotile asbestos fibers mediate homologous recombination in Rat2λ fibroblasts: Implications for carcinogenesis

Kimberly Lezon-Geyda, Cindy M. Jaime, James H. Godbold, Ernest F. Savransky, Aluko Hope, Samir A. Kheiri, Zlatica M. Dzmura, Hiroshi Uehara, Edward M. Johnson, Thomas M. Fasy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Asbestos fibers are widespread environmental carcinogens whose mutagenicity is now established. Nonetheless, the molecular nature of these mutations and the mechanisms by which they accelerate carcinogenesis remain poorly understood. We have assessed the ability of asbestos fibers to promote homologous recombination, a potent mechanism for generating intrachromosomal rearrangements, such as deletions, and mitotic recombination. For this, we have developed a new assay which determines the extent to which a marker gene present in DNA introduced by asbestos can recombine with homologous genes residing in a transfected cell. We have demonstrated that Calidria chrysotile fibers are mutagenic and are able to mediate transfection of molecularly marked mutant lacI genes in a manner that results in their preferential recombination with homologous wild-type genes in the transfected cell. Asbestos induced recombination events may play a significant role in asbestos mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, and promotion of recombination may underlie the well-recognized synergy of asbestos with other carcinogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research - Environmental Mutagenesis and Related Subjects
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 12 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Chrysotile asbestos
  • Homologous recombination
  • Loci
  • Rat2λ cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics


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