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Chem Res Toxicol. 2002 May;15(5):654-61.

Incorporation of oxidatively modified 2'-deoxynucleotide triphosphates by HIV-1 RT on RNA and DNA templates.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, 1450 East Duarte Road, Duarte, California 91010, USA.


Oxidatively modified deoxynucleotide triphosphates (dN(oxo)TPs) present in nucleotide precursor pools may contribute to retroviral mutagenesis as a result of incorporation and ambiguous base pairing during reverse transcriptase mediated replication. We have examined the incorporation of 5-hydroxy-2'-deoxycytosine triphosphate (5-HO-dCTP) and 2'-deoxyinosine triphosphate (dITP) by HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (HIV-1 RT) on DNA and RNA templates of the same sequence in order to evaluate their mutagenic potential. Significant variations in insertion frequencies at homologous nucleotide positions were observed for each dN(oxo)TP, in general favoring the RNA template. A comparison of steady-state kinetics revealed a 10-fold preference for 5-HO-dCTP incorporation opposite G in RNA. Insertion frequencies for dITP were 2- to 20-fold greater on RNA for every base position examined. One exception to this general trend was observed for the insertion of 5-HO-dCTP by HIV-1 RT opposite A, which favored the DNA template by 4-fold. Deoxyinosine triphosphate was inserted opposite C with an 8-fold higher frequency compared to dGTP in RNA, while on DNA templates, the incorporation frequencies were equivalent. However, incorporation of dITP opposite other bases was characterized by relatively low frequencies. The RNA template bias observed for dN(oxo)TP incorporation is discussed in terms of recent efforts to utilize 5-OH-dCTP as an anti-HIV agent.

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