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Published July 1, 2001 | public
Journal Article

Long-Range Oxidative Damage in DNA/RNA Duplexes


Oxidative damage as a result of DNA-mediated long-range charge transport occurs readily and at high yield in duplex DNA, and it is of interest whether similar damage can occur in duplex oligonucleotides that include both ribo- and deoxyribonucleotides. Assemblies containing RNA and mixed RNA·DNA strands were constructed containing tethered ethidium as a photooxidant. In photooxidation experiments, long-range oxidative damage to the ribose-containing strand of the oligonucleotide duplexes was examined. Hole injection by photoexcited ethidium followed by radical migration to oxidatively susceptible guanines afforded significant damage on ribose-containing strands at long range (∼35 Å). This damage does not differ substantially in yield and location from that found in B-DNA duplexes. No oxidative damage was found upon photooxidation of DNA/RNA duplexes containing tethered metallointercalator, despite the ability of the rhodium complex to promote oxidative damage at a distance in DNA duplexes. This result is attributed to the poor coupling of the rhodium complex into the A-like RNA/DNA duplex. The ability for long-range charge transport to occur in double-stranded nucleic acids of different comformations is considered in light of modeling studies that show interstrand base−base overlap between the opposing, complementary strands that make up RNA/DNA hybrid duplexes. Thus, the possibility of long-range radical migration to effect oxidative damage or signaling may be considered also in the context of transcriptional events.

Additional Information

© 2001 American Chemical Society. Received February 12, 2001; Revised Manuscript Received May 31, 2001. Publication Date (Web): July 6, 2001. D.T.O. thanks the Parson's Foundation for a predoctoral fellowship. Supported by NIH Grant GM49216.

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