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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Endonuclease-resistant apyrimidinic sites formed by neocarzinostatin at cytosine residues in DNA: evidence for a possible role in mutagenesis.

When defined-sequence DNA from the lacl region of plasmid pMC1 was treated with the nonprotein chromophore of neocarzinostatin in the presence of various thiols, the predominant lesions were direct strand breaks, occurring primarily at thymine and adenine residues. In the presence of glutathione, however, alkali-dependent strand breaks, occurring at certain cytosine residues, were also detected but were virtually absent when other thiols were used. Chromophore-induced release of free cytosine base from [3H]cytosine-labeled DNA was 2- to 3-fold greater with glutathione than with the other thiols. These results suggest that the alkali-dependent strand break is some form of apyrimidinic site. These sites were substrates for endonuclease IV of Escherichia coli, although a 5-fold greater concentration of enzyme was required for their cleavage than was required for cleavage of apurinic sites in depurinated DNA. These sites were also less sensitive to E. coli endonuclease VI (exonuclease III) by a factor of at least 5 and less sensitive to E. coli endonuclease III by a factor of at least 10. These and other results suggest that these sites are chemically different from normal apurinic/apyrimidine sites. When chromophore-induced apyrimidinic sites were quantitated as alkali-dependent breaks at 11 specific sites in the lacl gene, a correlation was found between occurrences of these lesions and the reported frequencies of G-C to A X T transitions at the same sites. All occurrences of the trinucleotide sequence A-G-C, including the ochre 21 mutational hot spot, were particularly prominent sites. The selective formation of endonuclease-resistant apyrimidinic sites at specific cytosine residues may explain the high frequency of G X C to A X T transitions in the mutational spectrum of neocarzinostatin.[1]


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