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Effect of ionic strength and cationic DNA affinity binders on the DNA sequence selective alkylation of guanine N7-positions by nitrogen mustards



Effect of ionic strength and cationic DNA affinity binders on the DNA sequence selective alkylation of guanine N7-positions by nitrogen mustards



Biochemistry 29(12): 2985-2991



Large variations in alkylation intensities exist among guanines in a DNA sequence following treatment with chemotherapeutic alkylating agents such as nitrogen mustards, and the substituent attached to the reactive group can impose a distinct sequence preference for reaction. In order to understand further the structural and electrostatic factors which determine the sequence selectivity of alkylation reactions, the effect of increased ionic strength, the intercalator ethidium bromide, AT-specific minor groove binders distamycin A and netropsin, and the polyamine spermine on guanine N7-alkylation by L-phenylalanine mustard (L-Pam), uracil mustard (UM), and quinacrine mustard (QM) was investigated with a modification of the guanine-specific chemical cleavage technique for DNA sequencing. For L-Pam and UM, increased ionic strength and the cationic DNA affinity binders dose dependently inhibited the alkylation. QM alkylation was less inhibited by salt (100 mM NaCl), ethidium (10 microM), and spermine (10 microM). Distamycin A and netropsin (100 microM) gave an enhancement of overall QM alkylation. More interestingly, the pattern of guanine N7-alkylation was qualitatively altered by ethidium bromide, distamycin A, and netropsin. The result differed with both the nitrogen mustard (L-Pam less than UM less than QM) and the cationic agent used. The effect, which resulted in both enhancement and suppression of alkylation sites, was most striking in the case of netropsin and distamycin A, which differed from each other. DNA footprinting indicated that selective binding to AT sequences in the minor groove of DNA can have long-range effects on the alkylation pattern of DNA in the major groove.

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Accession: 039927220

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2337578

DOI: 10.1021/bi00464a014


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