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J Mol Biol. 2000 Feb 25;296(3):803-12.

DNA sequence context modulates the impact of a cisplatin 1,2-d(GpG) intrastrand cross-link on the conformational and thermodynamic properties of duplex DNA.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ, 08854-5635, USA.


The anticancer activity of cisplatin derives from its ability to bind and cross-link DNA, with the major adduct being the 1,2-d(GpG) intrastrand cross-link. Here, the consequences of this adduct on the conformation, thermal stability, and energetics of duplex DNA are assessed, and the modulation of these parameters by the sequence context of the adduct is evaluated. The properties of a family of 15-mer DNA duplexes containing a single 1,2-d(GpG) cis-¿Pt(NH(3))(2)¿(2+) intrastrand cross-link are probed in different sequence contexts where the flanking base-pairs are systematically varied from T.A to C.G to A.T. By using a combination of spectroscopic and calorimetric techniques, the structural, thermal, and thermodynamic properties of each duplex, both with and without the cross-link, are characterized. Circular dichroism spectroscopic data reveal that the cross-link alters the structure of the host duplex in a manner consistent with a shift from a B-like to an A-like conformation. Thermal denaturation data reveal that the cross-link induces substantial thermal and thermodynamic destabilization of the host duplex. Significantly, the magnitudes of these cross-link-induced effects on duplex structure, thermal stability, and energetics are influenced by the bases that flank the adduct. The presence of flanking A.T base-pairs, relative to T.A or C.G base-pairs, enhances the extent of cross-link-induced alteration to an A-like conformation and dampens the extent of cross-link-induced duplex destabilization. These results are discussed in terms of available structural data, and in terms of the selective recognition of cisplatin-DNA adducts by HMG-domain proteins.

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