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Nucleic Acids Res. 1994 Nov 25; 22(23): 4997–5003.
PMCID: PMC523769

Mechanistic studies on depurination and apurinic site chain breakage in oligodeoxyribonucleotides.


Products formed from defined oligodeoxyribonucleotide tetramers (oligonucleotides) by depurination at pH 5.0 and 90 degrees C followed by chain breakage at the resulting apurinic sites (AP sites) were assigned by reversed phase HPLC. Through kinetic analysis, rate constants of depurination and subsequent chain breakage reactions were measured. Depurination of the oligonucleotides with purine bases locating at the terminal positions was several times faster than those with purines at the internal ones. The pKa values for the N7 of the G residues and the activation energies of the depurination were essentially independent of the position of the bases. The frequency factor was found to be responsible for the observed difference of the depurination rates. In contrast, the chain breakage by beta-elimination was several times faster for the AP sites formed at the internal positions than those at the 5'-terminal positions. It is suggested that an electron withdrawing phosphate group attached to the 5'-side of an AP site facilitates the chain cleavage.

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Selected References

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