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

The role of 3-hydroxyethyldeoxyuridine in mutagenesis by ethylene oxide.

Ethylene oxide, a direct-acting mutagen and carcinogen, produces 3-hydroxyethyldeoxyuridine (3-HE-dU) after initial alkylation at N3 of dC, followed by rapid hydrolytic deamination. The significance of formation of 3-HE-dU in DNA was investigated by in vitro DNA replication of 3-HE-dU. A 55-nucleotide DNA template, containing 3-HE-dU at a single site, was constructed. DNA products, synthesized on the site-modified template, were analyzed and mutagenic bypass at 3-HE-dU estimated. The 3-HE-dU lesion blocked DNA replication by the Klenow fragment of Escherichia coli polymerase I (Kf Pol I) and bacteriophage T7 polymerase (T7 Pol) 3' to 3-HE-dU and after incorporating a nucleotide opposite 3-HE-dU. DNA synthesis past 3-HE-dU was negligible (< 3%). Substitution of Kf Pol I ( exo-) and T7 Pol (exo-), polymerases lacking 3'-->5' exonuclease proofreading activity, for Kf Pol I and T7 Pol, respectively, facilitated DNA synthesis past 3-HE-dU. The bypass synthesis by Kf Pol I ( exo-) was 60% and 90% by T7 Pol ( exo-). These results suggest that the 3-HE-dU lesion could be bypassed, but that the extension at 3-HE-dU is rate-limiting. In the absence of proofreading, the nucleotide incorporated opposite 3-HE-dU is not excised and remains in position long enough for extension to occur. During post-lesion synthesis, both dA and dT were incorporated opposite 3-HE-dU. Since 3-HE-dU is derived from dC alkylation by ethylene oxide, incorporation of dA and dT opposite 3-HE-dU implicates this lesion in G.C-->A.T and G.C-->T.A mutagenesis.[1]


  1. The role of 3-hydroxyethyldeoxyuridine in mutagenesis by ethylene oxide. Bhanot, O.S., Singh, U.S., Solomon, J.J. J. Biol. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
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