We investigate the influence of base sequence context on the conformations of the 10S (+)-and 10R (-)-trans-anti-[BP]-N6-dA adducts through molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with free energy calculations, and relate the structural findings to results of nucleotide excision repair (NER) assays in human cell extracts. In previous studies, these adducts were studied in the CA*A sequence context, and here we report results for the CA*C sequence. Our simulations indicate that the base sequence context affects the syn-anti conformational equilibrium in the 10S (+) adduct by modulating the barrier heights between these states on the energy surface, with a higher barrier in the CA*C case. Our nucleotide excision repair assay finds greater NER susceptibilities in the 10S (+) adduct for the CA*C sequence context. A structural rationale ties together these results. A sequence specific hydrogen bond, accompanied by a significantly increased roll and consequent bending in the 10S (+) adduct, has been found in our simulations for the CA*C sequence, which could account for the enhanced nucleotide excision repair as well as the syn-anti equilibrium difference we observe in this isomer and sequence. Such sequence specific differential repair could contribute to the existence of mutational hotspots and thereby contribute to the complexity of cancer initiation.
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