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Acc Chem Res. 2008 Aug;41(8):1075-83. doi: 10.1021/ar700245e. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

Oxidatively generated damage to the guanine moiety of DNA: mechanistic aspects and formation in cells.

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Laboratoire Lésions des Acides Nucléiques, SCIB-UMR-E n3 (CEA/UJF) Institut Nanosciences et Cryogénie, CEA/Grenoble, F-38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France.


Nuclear DNA and other molecules in living systems are continuously exposed to endogenously generated oxygen species. Such species range from the unreactive superoxide radical (O2*-)the precursor of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)to the highly reactive hydroxyl radical (*OH). Exogenous chemical and physical agents, such as ionizing radiation and the UVA component of solar light, can also oxidatively damage both the bases and the 2-deoxyribose moieties of cellular DNA. Over the last two decades, researchers have made major progress in understanding the oxidation degradation pathways of DNA that are most likely to occur from either oxidative metabolism or exposure to various exogenous agents. In the first part of this Account, we describe the mechanistic features of one-electron oxidation reactions of the guanine base in isolated DNA and related model compounds. These reactions illustrate the complexity of the various degradation pathways involved. Then, we briefly survey the analytical methods that can detect low amounts of oxidized bases and nucleosides in cells as they are formed. Recent data on the formation of oxidized guanine residues in cellular DNA following exposure to UVA light, ionizing radiation, and high-intensity UV pulses are also provided. We discuss these chemical reactions in the context of *OH radical, singlet oxygen, and two-quantum photoionization processes.

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