Datta, K., Jaruga, P., Dizdaroglu, M., Neumann, R. D. and Winters, T. A. Molecular Analysis of Base Damage Clustering Associated with a Site-Specific Radiation-Induced DNA Double-Strand Break. Radiat. Res. 166, 767–781 (2006).

Base damage flanking a radiation-induced DNA double-strand break (DSB) may contribute to DSB complexity and affect break repair. However, to date, an isolated radiation-induced DSB has not been assessed for such structures at the molecular level. In this study, an authentic site-specific radiation-induced DSB was produced in plasmid DNA by triplex forming oligonucleotide-targeted 125I decay. A restriction fragment terminated by the DSB was isolated and probed for base damage with the E. coli DNA repair enzymes endonuclease III and formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase. Our results demonstrate base damage clustering within 8 bases of the 125I-targeted base in the DNA duplex. An increased yield of base damage (purine > pyrimidine) was observed for DSBs formed by irradiation in the absence of DMSO. An internal control fragment 1354 bp upstream from the targeted base was insensitive to enzymatic probing, indicating that the damage detected proximal to the DSB was produced by the 125I decay that formed the DSB. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry identified three types of damaged bases in the ∼32-bp region proximal to the DSB. These base lesions were 8-hydroxyguanine, 8-hydroxyadenine and 5-hydroxycytosine. Finally, evidence is presented for base damage >24 bp upstream from the 125I-decay site that may form via a charge migration mechanism.

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