Understanding the Mutagenicity of O-Linked and C-Linked Guanine DNA Adducts: A Combined Experimental and Computational Approach
The formation of DNA adducts by the attack of intermediates derived from toxic substances at C8 of 2′-deoxyguanosine (dG) is a common damaging event. Although the majority of studies on C8-dG adducts have focused on lesions containing a C8–N–C tether between the bulky moiety and the nucleobase, the formation of O-linked lesions with a similar tether topology and C-linked adducts involving direct C8–C connectivity have also been uncovered. Several studies have been done to try to better understand the structural impact and mutagenicity of O-linked and C-linked aryl C8-dG adducts, including lesions arising from unsubstituted and chloro-substituted phenols and the food mutagen ochratoxin A (OTA). Information about the structural preferences of the adducts in duplexes containing the Nar I sequence has been gained from optical spectroscopy (UV–vis, CD, and fluorescence), 19 F NMR spectroscopy, and computational chemistry (density functional theory calculations at the nucleobase, nucleoside, and nucleotide levels and molecular dynamics simulations of adducted duplexes). The replication of select adducts has also been investigated using primer-elongation assays, and model high-fidelity and Y-family polymerases. Although the (unsubstituted) O-linked phenoxy–dG adduct preferentially induces a single duplex conformation and is replicated as per natural dG, chloro substitution blocks DNA replication. In contrast, the unsubstituted C-linked phenyl–dG adduct induces mismatches, while the C-linked ortho - and para -phenoxy-dG lesions lead to conformational heterogeneity of adducted DNA indicative of strong mutagenic potential. Finally, the C-linked OTA-derived lesion exhibits the greatest conformational flexibility in duplexes, which provides structural explanations for observed outcomes in OTA-exposed cells. Overall, the variation in the conformational preferences of DNA containing O-linked and C-linked aryl–dG adducts highlights the fact that the type of C8 linkage, the presence and location of functional groups in the bulky moiety, the adduct ionization state, and the sequence context can have profound effects on the conformational outcomes of adducted DNA, which directly dictate the activity of the original toxin. Graphic Abstract
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