Role of Human NADPH Quinone Oxidoreductase (NQO1) in Oxygen-Mediated Cellular Injury and Oxidative DNA Damage in Human Pulmonary Cells

Rebecca Burke, Chun Chu, Guo Dong Zhou, Vasanta Putluri, Nagireddy Putluri, Rachel E. Stading, Xanthi Couroucli, Krithika Lingappan, Bhagavatula Moorthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Supplemental oxygen administration is frequently used in premature infants and adults with pulmonary insufficiency. NADPH quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1) protects cells from oxidative injury by decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this investigation, we tested the hypothesis that overexpression of NQO1 in BEAS-2B cells will mitigate cell injury and oxidative DNA damage caused by hyperoxia and that A-1221C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the NQO1 promoter would display altered susceptibility to hyperoxia-mediated toxicity. Using stable transfected BEAS-2B cells, we demonstrated that hyperoxia decreased cell viability in control cells (Ctr), but this effect was differentially mitigated in cells overexpressing NQO1 under the regulation of the CMV viral promoter, the wild-type NQO1 promoter (NQO1-NQO1), or the NQO1 promoter carrying the SNP. Interestingly, hyperoxia decreased the formation of bulky oxidative DNA adducts or 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in Ctr cells. qPCR studies showed that mRNA levels of CYP1A1 and NQO1 were inversely related to DNA adduct formation, suggesting the protective role of these enzymes against oxidative DNA injury. In SiRNA experiments entailing the NQO1-NQO1 promoter, hyperoxia caused decreased cell viability, and this effect was potentiated in cells treated with CYP1A1 siRNA. We also found that hyperoxia caused a marked induction of DNA repair genes DDB2 and XPC in Ctr cells, supporting the idea that hyperoxia in part caused attenuation of bulky oxidative DNA lesions by enhancing nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathways. In summary, our data support a protective role for human NQO1 against oxygen-mediated toxicity and oxidative DNA lesions in human pulmonary cells, and protection against toxicity was partially lost in SNP cells. Moreover, we also demonstrate a novel protective role for CYP1A1 in the attenuation of oxidative cells and DNA injury. Future studies on the mechanisms of attenuation of oxidative injury by NQO1 should help in developing novel approaches for the prevention/treatment of ARDS in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5544600
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of Human NADPH Quinone Oxidoreductase (NQO1) in Oxygen-Mediated Cellular Injury and Oxidative DNA Damage in Human Pulmonary Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this