The purpose of this study was to investigate a possible involvement of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation reactions in hyperthermic cell killing and hyperthermic DNA strand-break induction and repair in HeLa S3 cells. The inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, 3-aminobenzamide (3AB) and 4-aminobenzamide (4AB), were used as tools in this study. Both inhibitors could sensitize the cells for hyperthermic cell killing equally well, although 3AB is known to be a more effective enzyme inhibitor. The heat sensitization at the level of cell killing could be reversed when the compounds were still present during a 4-h postincubation at 37°C. More heat-induced DNA strand breaks were formed in the presence of 3AB and 4AB. Repair of strand breaks was inhibited during the postincubation at 37°C. Thus the effect of 3AB and 4AB on DNA strand-break repair was different from the cited effect on cell survival. It is concluded that the sensitizing effect of 3AB and 4AB on hyperthermic cell killing is not caused by inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and is also not related to repair of DNA strand breaks.

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