Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Free Radic Res. 1998 Dec;29(6):551-63.

Facts about the artifacts in the measurement of oxidative DNA base damage by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Author information

  • 1Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA.


Recently, several papers reported an artifactual formation of a number of modified bases from intact DNA bases during derivatization of DNA hydrolysates to be analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). These reports dealt with 8-hydroxyguanine (8-OH-Gua), 5-hydroxycytosine (5-OH-Cyt), 8-hydroxyadenine (8-OH-Ade), 5-hydroxymethyluracil (5-OHMeUra) and 5-formyluracil that represent only a small percentage of the 20 or so modified DNA bases that can be analyzed by GC/MS. Removal of intact DNA bases by prepurification of calf thymus DNA hydrolysates using HPLC was shown to prevent artifactual formation of these modified bases during derivatization. It needs to be emphasized that the procedures for hydrolysis of DNA and derivatization of DNA hydrolysates used in these papers substantially differed from the established procedures previously described. Furthermore, a large number of relevant papers reporting the levels of these modified bases in DNA of various sources have been ignored. Interestingly, the levels of modified bases reported in the literature were not as high as those reported prior to prepurification. Most values for the level of 5-OH-Cyt were even lower than the level measured after prepurification. Levels of 8-OH-Ade were quite close to, or even the same as, or smaller than the level reported after prepurification. The same holds true for 5-OHMeUra and 8-OH-Gua. All these facts raise the question of the validity of the claims about the measurement of these modified DNA bases by GC/MS. A recent paper reported a complete destruction of 2, 6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-formamidopyrimidine (Fapy-Gua) and 4,6-diamino-5-formamidopyrimidine (FapyAde) by formic acid under the conditions of DNA hydrolysis prior to GC/MS. The complete destruction of FapyGua and FapyAde by formic acid is in disagreement with the data on these compounds in the literature. These two compounds were measured by GC/MS following formic acid hydrolysis for many years in our laboratory and by other researchers with no difficulties. These facts clearly raise the question of the validity of the claims made about the previous measurements of these compounds by GC/MS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk