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Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Oct 30;43(19):9133-46. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv910. Epub 2015 Sep 22.

Base damage, local sequence context and TP53 mutation hotspots: a molecular dynamics study of benzo[a]pyrene induced DNA distortion and mutability.

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Institute of Life Science, Swansea University School of Medicine, Swansea University, SA2 8PP, UK.
Institute of Cancer & Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, CF14 4XN, UK.
School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Cardiff University, CF10 3NB, UK.
Institute of Life Science, Swansea University School of Medicine, Swansea University, SA2 8PP, UK


The mutational pattern for the TP53 tumour suppressor gene in lung tumours differs to other cancer types by having a higher frequency of G:C>T:A transversions. The aetiology of this differing mutation pattern is still unknown. Benzo[a]pyrene,diol epoxide (BPDE) is a potent cigarette smoke carcinogen that forms guanine adducts at TP53 CpG mutation hotspot sites including codons 157, 158, 245, 248 and 273. We performed molecular modelling of BPDE-adducted TP53 duplex sequences to determine the degree of local distortion caused by adducts which could influence the ability of nucleotide excision repair. We show that BPDE adducted codon 157 has greater structural distortion than other TP53 G:C>T:A hotspot sites and that sequence context more distal to adjacent bases must influence local distortion. Using TP53 trinucleotide mutation signatures for lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers we further show that codons 157 and 273 have the highest mutation probability in smokers. Combining this information with adduct structural data we predict that G:C>T:A mutations at codon 157 in lung tumours of smokers are predominantly caused by BPDE. Our results provide insight into how different DNA sequence contexts show variability in DNA distortion at mutagen adduct sites that could compromise DNA repair at well characterized cancer related mutation hotspots.

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