Resistance of bulky DNA lesions to nucleotide excision repair can result from extensive aromatic lesion–base stacking interactions

Department of Chemistry, Department of Biology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 9.11). 07/2011; 39(20):8752-64. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr537
Source: PubMed


The molecular basis of resistance to nucleotide excision repair (NER) of certain bulky DNA lesions is poorly understood. To address this issue, we have studied NER in human HeLa cell extracts of two topologically distinct lesions, one derived from benzo[a]pyrene (10R-(+)-cis-anti-B[a]P-N(2)-dG), and one from the food mutagen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (C8-dG-PhIP), embedded in either full or 'deletion' duplexes (the partner nucleotide opposite the lesion is missing). All lesions adopt base-displaced intercalated conformations. Both full duplexes are thermodynamically destabilized and are excellent substrates of NER. However, the identical 10R-(+)-cis-anti-B[a]P-N(2)-dG adduct in the deletion duplex dramatically enhances the thermal stability of this duplex, and is completely resistant to NER. Molecular dynamics simulations show that B[a]P lesion-induced distortion/destabilization is compensated by stabilizing aromatic ring system-base stacking interactions. In the C8-dG-PhIP-deletion duplex, the smaller size of the aromatic ring system and the mobile phenyl ring are less stabilizing and yield moderate NER efficiency. Thus, a partner nucleotide opposite the lesion is not an absolute requirement for the successful initiation of NER. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that carcinogen-base stacking interactions, which contribute to the local DNA stability, can prevent the successful insertion of an XPC β-hairpin into the duplex and the normal recruitment of other downstream NER factors.

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    • "The importance of perturbations of the normal DNA base stacking interactions by DNA lesions, such as one containing a crosslink between guanine and thymine in DNA duplexes (73), as well as the potential stabilizing effects associated with interactions between aromatic rings of carcinogens with DNA bases has been considered recently (69,71,74); evidence was presented that weakened van der Waals stacking interactions correlate with enhanced NER susceptibility whereas enhanced stacking interactions result in diminished excision efficiencies. Accordingly, we evaluated the van der Waals stacking interaction energies for all simulated base-displaced structures. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aristolochic acids I and II are prevalent plant toxicants found in the Aristolochiaceae plant family. Metabolic activation of the aristolochic acids leads to the formation of a cyclic N-hydroxylactam product that can react with the peripheral amino group of purine bases generating bulky DNA adducts. These lesions are mutagenic and established human carcinogens. Interestingly, although AL-dG adducts progressively disappear from the DNA of laboratory animals, AL-dA lesions has lasting persistence in the genome. We describe here NMR structural studies of an undecameric duplex damaged at its center by the presence of an ALII-dA adduct. Our data establish a locally perturbed double helical structure that accommodates the bulky adduct by displacing the counter residue into the major groove and stacking the ALII moiety between flanking bases. The presence of the ALII-dA perturbs the conformation of the 5'-side flanking base pair, but all other pairs of the duplex adopt standard conformations. Thermodynamic studies reveal that the lesion slightly decreases the energy of duplex formation in a sequence-dependent manner. We discuss our results in terms of its implications for the repair of ALII-dA adducts in mammalian cells.
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