Influence of C-5 substituted cytosine and related nucleoside analogs on the formation of benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide-dG adducts

Nucleic Acids Research vol. 39  p. 3988-4006  DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq1341
PMID/PMCID: PMC3089471 Published: 2011-05-01 

Rebecca Guza, Delshanee Kotandeniya, Kristopher Murphy, Thakshila Dissanayake, Chen Lin, George M. Giambaşu, Rahul R. Lad, Filip Wojciechowski, Shantu Amin, Shana J. Sturla, Robert H. E. Hudson, Darrin M. York [ ] , Ryszard Jankowiak, Roger Jones, Natalia Y. Tretyakova

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Endogenous 5-methylcytosine (MeC) residues are found at all CG dinucleotides of the p53 tumor suppressor gene, including the mutational ‘hotspots’ for smoking induced lung cancer. MeC enhances the reactivity of its base paired guanine towards carcinogenic diolepoxide metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) present in cigarette smoke. In the present study, the structural basis for these effects was investigated using a series of unnatural nucleoside analogs and a representative PAH diolepoxide, benzo[a]pyrene diolepoxide (BPDE). Synthetic DNA duplexes derived from a frequently mutated region of the p53 gene (5'-CCCGGCACCC GC[15N3,13C1-G]TCCGCG-3', + strand) were prepared containing [15N3, 13C1]-guanine opposite unsubstituted cytosine, MeC, abasic site, or unnatural nucleobase analogs. Following BPDE treatment and hydrolysis of the modified DNA to 2'-deoxynucleosides, N2-BPDE-dG adducts formed at the [15N3, 13C1]-labeled guanine and elsewhere in the sequence were quantified by mass spectrometry. We found that C-5 alkylcytosines and related structural analogs specifically enhance the reactivity of the base paired guanine towards BPDE and modify the diastereomeric composition of N2-BPDE-dG adducts. Fluorescence and molecular docking studies revealed that 5-alkylcytosines and unnatural nucleobase analogs with extended aromatic systems facilitate the formation of intercalative BPDE–DNA complexes, placing BPDE in a favorable orientation for nucleophilic attack by the N2 position of guanine.