Mutation assays of alkanes and oils

Antonio aq12 at cornell.edu
Fri Mar 16 18:39:28 EST 2001

We have been exposing bacterial cells to alkanes (C8, C10, C12), 
tetramethylpentadecane, and complex lubricating oils as part of a larger set of 
mutagenicity assays.  We are finding that these compounds all elicit a 
mutagenic response (they induce reversion in the cells).  

I believe that the response is not being directly induced by the compounds (I 
do not know about the oils) but rather that these chemicals are somehow 
interfering with normal cell repair mechanisms.  The cells are exhibiting 
damage induced by other mutagens in their environment, not from the alkanes 
directly.  I have no suggestion as to how the compounds affect cell repair.

If anyone has comments on my hypothesis, be they from lab experience or 
literature, or if you have other ideas I would appreciate receiving them.

Please respond by e-mail.


Antonio Quiñones-Rivera
Graduate Field of Environmental Toxicology
aq12 at cornell.edu

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