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Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Jan;41(2):869-80. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1077. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

Unusual sequence effects on nucleotide excision repair of arylamine lesions: DNA bending/distortion as a primary recognition factor.

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Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA.


The environmental arylamine mutagens are implicated in the etiology of various sporadic human cancers. Arylamine-modified dG lesions were studied in two fully paired 11-mer duplexes with a -G*CN- sequence context, in which G* is a C8-substituted dG adduct derived from fluorinated analogs of 4-aminobiphenyl (FABP), 2-aminofluorene (FAF) or 2-acetylaminofluorene (FAAF), and N is either dA or dT. The FABP and FAF lesions exist in a simple mixture of 'stacked' (S) and 'B-type' (B) conformers, whereas the N-acetylated FAAF also samples a 'wedge' (W) conformer. FAAF is repaired three to four times more efficiently than FABP and FAF. A simple A- to -T polarity swap in the G*CA/G*CT transition produced a dramatic increase in syn-conformation and resulted in 2- to 3-fold lower nucleotide excision repair (NER) efficiencies in Escherichia coli. These results indicate that lesion-induced DNA bending/thermodynamic destabilization is an important DNA damage recognition factor, more so than the local S/B-conformational heterogeneity that was observed previously for FAF and FAAF in certain sequence contexts. This work represents a novel 3'-next flanking sequence effect as a unique NER factor for bulky arylamine lesions in E. coli.

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