N-Acetyl Cysteine as a Novel Polymethyl Methacrylate Resin Component: Protection against Cell Apoptosis and Genotoxicity

Yu Zhang, Jian Feng Xiao, He Feng Yang, Yang Jiao, Wei Wei Cao, Huan Min Shi, Jing Fen Cun, Franklin R. Tay, Jie Ping, Yu Hong Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the antiapoptotic and antigenotoxic capabilities of N-acetyl cysteine-(NAC-) containing polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) resin. An in vitro Transwell insert model was used to mimic the clinical provisional restorations placed on vital teeth. Various parameters associated with cell apoptosis and genotoxicity were investigated to obtain a deeper insight into the underlying mechanisms. The exposure of human dental pulp cell (hDPC) cultures to the PMMA resin (Unifast Trad™) resulted in a rapid increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) level beginning at 1 h, which was followed by time-dependent cell detachment and overt death. The formation of γ-H2AX and cell cycle G1 phase arrest indicated that oxidative DNA damage occurred as a result of the interactions between DNA bases and ROS, beyond the capacities of cellular redox regulation. Such oxidative DNA damage triggers the activation of p53 via the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) signaling pathway and the induction of intrinsic mitochondrial apoptosis. Oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, and DNA damage induced by the PMMA resin were recovered to almost the level of untreated controls by the incorporation of NAC. The results indicate that the PMMA resin induced the intrinsic mitochondrial apoptosis as a consequence of p53 activation via the ATM pathway in response to oxidative DNA damage. More importantly, the incorporation of NAC as a novel component into the Unifast Trad™ PMMA resin offers protective effects against cell apoptosis and genotoxicity. This procedure represents a beneficial strategy for developing more biocompatible PMMA-based resin materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1301736
JournalOxidative medicine and cellular longevity
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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