Ascorbic acid induces an oxidative stress in CCRF cells activating the transcription factors AP-1 and NFRB

Joseph Lunec, T. Duarte, Karen A. Holloway, Helen R Griffiths, S.P. Faux

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


We have previously tested the effects of high dose AA supplements on human volunteers in terms of reducing DNA damage, as a possible mechanism of the vitamin’s proposed protective effect against cancer and detected a transient, pro-oxidant effect at high doses (500 mg/day). Herein, we present evidence of a pro-oxidant effect of the vitamin when added to CCRF cells at extracellular concentrations which mimic those present in human serum in vivo (50–150AM). The activation of the transcription factor AP-1 was optimal at 100 AM AA following 3h exposure at 37jC. A minimum dose of 50 AM of AA activated NFnB but there appeared to be no dose-dependent effect. Increases of 2–3 fold were observed for both transcription factors when cells were exposed to 100 AM AA for 3h, comparing well with the pro-oxidant effect of H2O2 at similar concentrations. In parallel experiments the activation of AP-1 (binding to DNA) was potentiated when cells were pre-incubated with AA prior to exposure with H2O2. Cycloheximide pretreatment (10 Ag/ml for 15min) caused a 50% inhibition of AP-1 binding to DNA suggesting that it was due to a combination of increasing the binding of pre-existing Fos and Jun and an increase in their de novo synthesis. Cellular localisation was confirmed by immunocytochemistry using antibodies specific for c-Fos and c-Jun proteins. These results suggest that extracellular AA can elicit an intracellular stress response resulting in the activation of the oxidative stress-responsive transcription factors AP-1 and NFnB. These transcription factors are involved in the induction of genes associated with an oxidative stress response, cell cycle arrest and DNA repair confirmed by our cDNA microarray analysis (Affymetrix). This may explain the abilty for AA to appear to inhibit 8-oxodG, yet simultaneously generate another oxidative stress biomarker, 8-oxo-dA. These results suggest a completely novel DNA repair action for AA. Whether this action is relevant to our in vivo findings will be the subject of our future research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event12th Biennial Meeting of the Society for free radical research - Buenos Aires , Argentina
Duration: 5 May 20049 May 2004


Other12th Biennial Meeting of the Society for free radical research
Abbreviated titleSFRR 2004
CityBuenos Aires

Bibliographical note

Abstract published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, (2004) 36 (Supplement 1), p.S29, 0891-5849.


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