New publication from the Stingele lab on the quantification of intracellular DNA-protein cross-Links with N7-Methyl-2'-Deoxyguanosine and their contribution to cytotoxicity

Wen T, Zhao S, Stingele J, Ravanat JL, Greenberg MM (2024) Quantification of Intracellular DNA-Protein Cross-Links with N7-Methyl-2'-Deoxyguanosine and Their Contribution to Cytotoxicity. Chem Res Toxicol., doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.4c00076 


The major product of DNA-methylating agents, N7-methyl-2′-deoxyguanosine (MdG), is a persistent lesion in vivo, but it is not believed to have a large direct physiological impact. However, MdG reacts with histone proteins to form reversible DNA–protein cross-links (DPCMdG), a family of DNA lesions that can significantly threaten cell survival. In this paper, we developed a tandem mass spectrometry method for quantifying the amounts of MdG and DPCMdG in nuclear DNA by taking advantage of their chemical lability and the concurrent release of N7-methylguanine. Using this method, we determined that DPCMdG is formed in less than 1% yield based upon the levels of MdG in methyl methanesulfonate (MMS)-treated HeLa cells. Despite its low chemical yield, DPCMdG contributes to MMS cytotoxicity. Consequently, cells that lack efficient DPC repair by the DPC protease SPRTN are hypersensitive to MMS. This investigation shows that the downstream chemical and biochemical effects of initially formed DNA damage can have significant biological consequences. With respect to MdG formation, the initial DNA lesion is only the beginning.

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