DNA sequence context as a determinant of the quantity and chemistry of guanine oxidation produced by hydroxyl radicals and one-electron oxidants

Yelena Margolin, Vladimir Shafirovich, Nicholas E. Geacintov, Michael S. DeMott, Peter C. Dedon

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DNA sequence context has emerged as a critical determinant of the location and quantity of nucleobase damage caused by many oxidizing agents. However, the complexity of nucleobase and 2-deoxyribose damage caused by strong oxidants such as ionizing radiation and the Fenton chemistry of Fe2+-EDTA/H 2O2 poses a challenge to defining the location of nucleobase damage and the effects of sequence context on damage chemistry in DNA. To address this problem, we developed a gel-based method that allows quantification of nucleobase damage in oxidized DNA by exploiting Escherichia coli exonuclease III to remove fragments containing direct strand breaks and abasic sites. The rigor of the method was verified in studies of guanine oxidation by photooxidized riboflavin and nitrosoperoxycarbonate, for which different effects of sequence context have been demonstrated by other approaches (Margolin, Y., Cloutier, J. F., Shafirovich, V., Geacintov, N. E., and Dedon, P. C. (2006) Nat. Chem. Biol. 2, 365-366). Using duplex oligodeoxynucleotides containing all possible three-nucleotide sequence contexts for guanine, the method was used to assess the role of DNA sequence context in hydroxyl radical-induced guanine oxidation associated with γ-radiation and Fe 2+-EDTA/H2O2. The results revealed both differences and similarities forGoxidation by hydroxyl radicals and by one-electron oxidation by riboflavin-mediated photooxidation, which is consistent with the predominance of oxidation pathways for hydroxyl radicals other than one-electron oxidation to form guanine radical cations. Although the relative quantities of G oxidation produced by hydroxyl radicals were more weakly correlated with sequence-specific ionization potential than Goxidation produced by riboflavin, damage produced by both hydroxyl radical generators and riboflavin within two- and three-base runs of G showed biases in location that are consistent with a role for electron transfer in defining the location of the damage products. Furthermore, both γ-radiation and Fe2+-EDTA/ H2O2 showed relatively modest effects of sequence context on the proportions of different damage products sensitive to E. coli formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase and hot piperidine, although GT-containing sequence contexts displayed subtle biases in damage chemistry (formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase/piperidine ratio). Overall, the results are consistent with the known chemistry of guanine oxidation by hydroxyl radical and demonstrate that charge migration plays a relatively minor role in determining the location and chemistry of hydroxyl radical-mediated oxidative damage to guanine in DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35569-35578
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 19 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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