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J Mass Spectrom. 2009 Aug;44(8):1241-8. doi: 10.1002/jms.1605.

The influence of cytosine methylation on the chemoselectivity of benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide-oligonucleotide adducts determined using nanoLC/MS/MS.

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Barnett Institute and Department of Chemistry, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Benzo[a]pyrene is a major carcinogen implicated in human lung cancer. Almost 60% of human lung cancers have a mutation in the p53 tumor suppressor gene at several specific codons. An on-line nanoLC/MS/MS method using a monolithic nanocolumn was applied to investigate the chemoselectivity of the carcinogenic diol epoxide metabolite, (+/-)-(7R,8S,9S,10R)-benzo[a]pyrene 7,8-diol 9,10-epoxide [(+/-)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE)], which was reacted in vitro with a synthesized 14-mer double stranded oligonucleotide (5'-ACCCG5CG7TCCG11CG13C-3'/5'-GCGCGGGCGCGGGT-3') derived from the p53 gene. This sequence contained codons 157 and 158, which are considered mutational 'hot spots' and have also been reported as chemical 'hot spots' for the formation of BPDE-DNA adducts. In evaluating the effect of cytosine methylation on BPDE-DNA adduct binding, it was found that codon 156, containing the nucleobase G5 instead of the mutational hot spot codons 157 (G7) and 158 (G11), was the preferential chemoselective binding site for BPDE. In all permethylated cases studied, the relative ratio for adduction was found to be G5 >> G11 > G13 > G7. Permethylation of CpG dinucleotide sites on either the nontranscribed or complementary strand did not change the order of sequence preference but did enhance the relative adduction level of the G11 CpG site (codon 158) approximately two-fold versus the unmethylated oligomer. Permethylation of all CpG dinucleotide sites on the duplex changed the order of relative adduction to G5 >> G7 > G11 > G13. The three- to four-fold increase in adduction at the mutational hot spot codon 157 (G(7)) relative to the unmethylated or single-stranded permethylated cases suggests a possible relationship between the state of methylation and adduct formation for a particular mutation site in the p53 gene. Using this method, only 125 ng (30 pmol) of adducted oligonucleotide was analyzed with minimal sample cleanup and high chromatographic resolution of positional isomers in a single chromatographic run.

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