Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 1995 Jan 31;34(4):1439-45.

A mechlorethamine-induced DNA interstrand cross-link bends duplex DNA.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


The dG-to-dG, DNA-DNA interstrand cross-link at the duplex sequence 5'-d(GNC) formed by the antitumor drug mechlorethamine (bis(2-chloroethyl)methylamine) was studied both theoretically and experimentally. Computer models of cross-linked DNA were energy minimized using molecular mechanics. The energy minimized structures possessed local distortion of the DNA helix, especially propeller twisting and buckling, caused by the tether length being too small to bridge the spacing of N7 atoms of dG at the sequence 5'-d(GNC) in B DNA. Overwinding of 2-6 degrees was present at each of the two dinucleotide steps spanned by the cross-link. The predicted structural changes were compatible with the possibility that this cross-link would introduce a static bend into the DNA double helix axis. An experimental study provided evidence for this induced bending of the helix axis in interstrand cross-linked samples. DNAs containing multiple mechlorethamine-induced interstrand cross-links exhibited anomalously low electrophoretic mobility in polyacrylamide gels when the lesions were separated by one or two turns. From the degree of gel retardation, the cross-linked DNAs were estimated to be bent by 12.4-16.8 degrees per lesion; estimation of the extent to which this bend was induced by the lesion was complicated by a preexisting bend in the non-cross-linked DNAs used. The data did not allow distinction of a static from an anisotropic dynamic bend; "universal" and "hinge" joints were excluded. Anomalous mobility was maximal when the lesion spacing was 21 bp, suggesting a helical repeat of 10.5 bp per turn.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center