Structure and Properties of C8-Aryl-2'-Deoxyguanosine Adducts: From Mutagenic Lesions to Conformational Probes in Duplex DNA
A significant focus of toxicological research is the identification of electrophiles that covalently modify DNA to form addition products (adducts). These products can be generated when aryl radical species react at the C8-site of 2'-deoxyguanosine (dG) to form C8-aryl-dG adducts, which are mutagenic lesions. While this form of DNA modification is detrimental, C8-aryl-dG adducts also possess intriguing properties that can be exploited for beneficial purposes. This thesis is an investigation of one mechanism believed to contribute to the mutagenicity of C8-aryl-dG adducts, as well as a study of the photophysical properties of adducts that allow for their application as fluorescent probes. A common property of C8-aryl-dG adduction is accompaniment of abasic site formation. To determine how the C8-aryl moiety contributes to sugar loss, UV-Vis spectroscopy has been employed to determine hydrolysis kinetics, with C8-aryl-dG adducts found to be more prone than dG to acid-catalyzed hydrolysis. Despite adduct reactivity in acidic media, all adducts are relatively stable at pH 7, suggesting they are unlikely intermediates of abasic site formation at physiological pH. These results have allowed for development of a new rationale for depurination observed upon C8-aryl-dG adduction within duplex DNA. The determination of photophysical parameters of C8-heteroaryl-dG adducts reveals that these nucleosides behave as fluorophores with high fluorescence quantum yields (φfl). These adducts also exhibit emission sensitivity to their solvent environment and H-bonding interactions. C8-Heteroaryl-dG adducts were incorporated in the oligonucleotide 5'-CTCG1G2CG3CCATC, at the G1 and G3 sites, that contains the recognition sequence of the NarI Type II restriction enzyme. Hybridization of the modified NarI oligonucleotides to the complementary strand containing either the C or G nucleobase opposite the adduct allowed for characterization of duplex structures by circular dichroism (CD), UV melting temperature analysis and fluorescence spectroscopy. Results suggest that the C8-heteroaryl-dG adduct favours an anti conformation with base-paired with C, while a syn conformation is favoured when base-paired to G. Adduct conformation of bulky C8-dG adducts is believed to be correlated with their known mutagenic activity. C8-Heteroaryl-dG modified nucleosides could therefore be used as fluorescent models of these adducts to aid in elucidation of adduct-induced mutagenesis in biological systems.