In genetics, genotoxicity describes the property of chemical agents that damages the genetic information within a cell causing mutations, which may lead to cancer. While genotoxicity is often confused with mutagenicity, all mutagens are genotoxic , whereas not all genotoxic substances are mutagenic. Mechanisms ‎ Test techniques ‎ in vitro toxicology testing ‎ Cancer Genotoxicity: damage to DNA and its consequences. Author information: (1)Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Phillips DH(1), Arlt VM. A genotoxin is a chemical or agent that can cause DNA or chromosomal damage. Such damage in a germ cell has the potential to cause . Heritable germ cell mutations and cancer are the major concerns when there is exposure to any genotoxic agent, and they provide the rationale for conducting assays to detect potential genotoxicity activity. In addition to being potential germ cell mutagens or carcinogens, there is evidence that the mutagenic events may . Many in vitro and in vivo tests for genotoxicity have been developed that, with a range of endpoints, detect DNA damage or its biological consequences in prokaryotic (e.g. bacterial) or eukaryotic (e.g. mammalian, avian or yeast) cells.

These assays are used to evaluate the safety of environmental chemicals and consumer . Genotoxic substances induce damage in cells through interaction with the genetic material, including DNA sequence and structure. Several types of DNA damage can result, including single- and double-strand breaks, cross-links between DNA bases and proteins, and chemical additions to the DNA. Agents that damage DNA causing lesions that result in cell death or mutations are genotoxins. All mutagens are genotoxic , but not all genotoxins are mutagens as they may not cause retained alterations in DNA sequence. Mutagenicity refers to the induction of permanent transmissible changes in the structure of the genetic material of cells or organisms.

These changes (mutations) may involve a single gene or a block of genes. Genotoxicity is a broader term that refers to the ability to interact with DNA and/or the cellular apparatus that . Approval and registration of drugs requires a comprehensive assessment of their genotoxic potential. Genotoxicity testing is an integral component of regulatory toxicity evaluation in most countries. Since no single test is capable of detecting all relevant genotoxic end-points, a battery of in vitro and in vivo . Genotoxic chemicals exert their adverse effect through interaction with genetic material (DNA) of cells.

Compounds identified as genotoxic in these tests have the potential to be human.