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Benzene-derived N2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-deoxyguanosine adduct: UvrABC incision and its conformation in DNA

Abstract

Benzene, a ubiquitous human carcinogen, forms DNA adducts through its metabolites such as p-benzoquinone (p-BQ) and hydroquinone (HQ). N(2)-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine (N(2)-4-HOPh-dG) is the principal adduct identified in vivo by (32)P-postlabeling in cells or animals treated with p-BQ or HQ. To study its effect on repair specificity and replication fidelity, we recently synthesized defined oligonucleotides containing a site-specific adduct using phosphoramidite chemistry. We here report the repair of this adduct by Escherichia coli UvrABC complex, which performs the initial damage recognition and incision steps in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. We first showed that the p-BQ-treated plasmid was efficiently cleaved by the complex, indicating the formation of DNA lesions that are substrates for NER. Using a 40-mer substrate, we found that UvrABC incises the DNA strand containing N(2)-4-HOPh-dG in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The specificity of such repair was also compared with that of DNA glycosylases and damage-specific endonucleases of E. coli, both of which were found to have no detectable activity toward N(2)-4-HOPh-dG. To understand why this adduct is specifically recognized and processed by UvrABC, molecular modeling studies were performed. Analysis of molecular dynamics trajectories showed that stable G:C-like hydrogen bonding patterns of all three Watson-Crick hydrogen bonds are present within the N(2)-4-HOPh-G:C base pair, with the hydroxyphenyl ring at an almost planar position. In addition, N(2)-4-HOPh-dG has a tendency to form more stable stacking interactions than a normal G in B-type DNA. These conformational properties may be critical in differential recognition of this adduct by specific repair enzymes.

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