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Nucleic Acids Res. May 15, 1998; 26(10): 2359–2365.
PMCID: PMC147563

Cytarabine-induced destabilization of a model Okazaki fragment.

Abstract

Cytarabine is a potent anticancer drug that interferes with elongation of the lagging strand at the replication fork during DNA synthesis. The effects of cytarabine substitution on the structural and thermodynamic properties of a model Okazaki fragment were investigated using UV hyperchromicity and 1H NMR spectroscopy to determine how cytarabine alters the physicochemical properties of Okazaki fragments that are intermediates during DNA replication. Two model Okazaki fragments were prepared corresponding to a primary initiation site for DNA replication in the SV40 viral genome. One model Okazaki fragment consisted of five ribo- and seven deoxyribonucleotides on the hybrid strand, together with its complementary (DNA) strand. The second model Okazaki fragment was identical to the first with the exception of cytarabine substitution for deoxycytidine at the third DNA nucleotide of the hybrid strand. Thermodynamic parameters for the duplex to single strand transition for each model Okazaki fragment were calculated from the concentration dependence of the T m at 260 nm. Cytarabine significantly decreased the stability of this model Okazaki fragment, decreasing the melting temperature from 46.8 to 42.4 degrees C at a concentration of 1.33 x 10(-5) M. The free energy for the duplex to single strand transition was 1.2 kcal/mol less favorable for the cytarabine-substituted Okazaki fragment relative to the control at 37 degrees C. Analysis of the temperature dependence of the imino1H resonances for the two duplexes demonstrated that cytarabine specifically destabilized the DNA:DNA duplex portion of the model Okazaki fragment. These results are consistent with inhibition of lagging strand DNA synthesis by cytarabine substitution resulting from destabilization of the DNA:DNA duplex portion of Okazaki fragments in vivo .

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Selected References

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