N-hydroxy-4-aminobiphenyl-DNA binding in human p53 gene: sequence preference and the effect of C5 cytosine methylation.

4-Aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) is a major etiological agent for human bladder cancer. Metabolically activated 4-ABP is able to interact with DNA to form adducts that may induce mutations and initiate carcinogenesis. Thirty to sixty percent of bladder cancer has a mutation in the tumor suppressor p53 gene, and the mutational spectrum bears unique features. To date the DNA binding spectrum of 4-ABP in the p53 gene is not known due to the lack of methodology to detect 4-ABP-DNA adducts at nucleotide sequence level. We have found that UvrABC nuclease, a nucleotide excision repair complex isolated from Escherichia coli, is able to incise specifically and quantitatively DNA fragments modified with N-hydroxy-4-aminobiphenyl (N-OH-4-ABP), an activated intermediate of 4-ABP. Using the UvrABC nuclease incision method, we mapped the binding spectrum of N-OH-4-ABP in DNA fragments containing exons 5, 7, and 8 of the human p53 gene and also determined the effect of C5 cytosine methylation on N-OH-4-ABP-DNA binding. We found that codon 285, a mutational hotspot at a non-CpG site in bladder cancer, is the preferential binding site for N-OH-4-ABP. We also found that C5 cytosine methylation greatly enhanced N-OH-4-ABP binding at CpG sites, and that two mutational hotspots at CpG sites, codons 175 and 248, became preferential binding sites for N-OH-4-ABP only after being methylated. These results suggest that both the unique DNA binding specificity of 4-ABP and cytosine methylation contribute to the mutational spectrum of the p53 gene in human bladder cancer.

Beland FA, Feng Z, Hu W, Rom WN, Tang MS


Biochemistry, 2002, 41 (20)

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