Formation of modified cleavage termini from the reaction of chromium(V) with DNA

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Reaction of a 25 bp oligonucleotide with the high valent chromium complex, bis(2-ethyl-2-hydroxybutyrato)oxochromate(V) (Cr(V)-EHBA) produced both Frank- and alkali-labile strand breaks that were sequence-neutral. Frank strand break formation was found to be O2-dependent while formation of alkali-labile strand breaks were O2-independent. Reaction of Cr(V)-EHBA with the 5'-32P-labeled oligomer under oxygenated conditions formed the modified 3'-terminus, 3'-phosphoglycolate, as well as the 3'-phosphate terminus. Formation of the 3'-phosphoglycolate termini, and the O2 dependence of the reactions were consistent with a mechanism involving abstraction of the C4' hydrogen atom from the deoxyribose moiety of DNA. Identical reactions using the 3'-32P-labeled oligomer yielded only 5'-phosphate termini as assigned by co-migration with Maxam-Gilbert markers. Analogous cleavage profiles and modified termini were observed for the reaction of Cr(V)-EHBA and DNA in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. With the addition of hydrogen peroxide, the DNA cleavage reactions were O2-independent and the level of DNA cleavage was enhanced over that observed with Cr(V)-EHBA alone. These findings suggest an oxidation mechanism whereby a reductive intermediate of the carcinogen chromate, Cr(V), can cause DNA damage that mimics oxygen radical DNA damaging pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 30 1999


  • Chromium
  • DNA cleavage
  • DNA damage
  • Oxygen radicals


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