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J Biol Chem. 1996 Aug 30;271(35):21167-76.

Oxidative damage to DNA constituents by iron-mediated fenton reactions. The deoxycytidine family.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3202, USA.


Damage by iron-mediated Fenton reactions under aerobic or anaerobic conditions to deoxycytidine, deoxycytidine-5'-monophosphate, d-CpC, d-CpCpC, and dCMP residues in DNA resulted in at least 26 distinguishable products. Of these, 24 were identified by high performance liquid chromatography retention times, radiolabeling, UV absorption spectra, chemical synthesis, fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry, high resolution fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry, and/or NMR. The nature of the products was qualitatively similar for each substrate except for d-CpC (and possibly d-CpCpC) under anaerobic conditions for which 5-hydroxy-deoxycytidine was uniquely present and 1-carbamoyl-1-carboxy-4-(2-deoxy-beta-D-erythropentofuranosyl) glycinamide was uniquely absent. Damage to dC, d-CpC, and d-CpCpC but not to dCMP or DNA was largely quenched by ethanol, indicating that iron is strongly associated only with dCMP and DNA. The presence of oxygen had little effect with dC or dCMP but had quantitative and qualitative effects with d-CpC and a significantly quantitative but not a qualitative effect with DNA. NADH could drive the Fenton reaction to cause damage to the dC family in vitro, consistent with a previous proposal that NADH was the reducing agent for the Fenton reaction in vivo (Imlay, J.A., and Linn, S. (1988) Science 240, 1302-1309). Finally, the damage spectrum of the dC family by the Fenton reaction is compared with that by ionizing radiation and chemical mechanisms leading to the formation of the 24 identified products are proposed.

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