Evaluation of the DNA damaging effect of the heat-induced food toxicant 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in various cell lines with different activities of sulfotransferases
ABSTRACT 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a heat-induced food toxicant present in a vast number of food items, has been suggested to be genotoxic after being bioactivated by the sulfotransferase SULT1A1. The comet assay was used to evaluate the DNA damaging effect of HMF in cell lines with different activities of SULT1A1: two human cell lines (Caco-2, low activity; and HEK293, higher activity), one cell line from mouse (L5178Y, no activity) and two cell lines from Chinese hamster (V79, negligible activity; and V79-hP-PST, high activity of human SULT1A1). HMF induced significant DNA damage in all cell lines after 3 h exposure to 100 mM. Most sensitive were V79 and V79-hP-PST where HMF induced significant DNA damage at 25 mM. Consequently, in the present study we have shown that HMF is a DNA damaging agent in vitro independent of the activity of SULT1A1 in the cells. The HMF-induced DNA damage was only observed at rather high concentrations which usually was associated with a concomitant decrease in cell viability.