Formation and stability of repairable pyrimidine photohydrates in DNA.Biochemistry. 1990 Nov 20; 29(46):10455-60.B
Ultraviolet irradiation of poly(dG-dC) and poly(dA-dU) in solution produces pyrimidine hydrates that are repaired by bacterial and mammalian DNA glycosylases [Boorstein et al. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 6164-6170]. Escherichia coli endonuclease III was used to quantitate the formation and stability of these hydrates in the double-stranded alternating copolymers poly(dG-dC) and poly(dA-dU). When poly(dG-dC) was irradiated with 100 kJ/m2 of 254-nm light at pH 8.0, 2.2% of the cytosine residues were converted to cytosine hydrate (6-hydroxy-5,6-dihydrocytosine) while 0.09% were converted to uracil hydrate (6-hydroxy-5,6-dihydrouracil). To measure the stability of these products, poly(dG-dC) was incubated in solution for up to 24 h after UV irradiation. Cytosine hydrate was stable at 4 degrees C and decayed at 25, 37, and 55 degrees C with half-lives of 75, 25, and 6 h. Uracil hydrate produced in irradiated poly(dA-dU) was stable at 4 degrees C and at 25 degrees C and decayed with a half-life of 6 h at 37 degrees C and less than 0.5 h at 55 degrees C. Uracil hydrate and uracil were also formed in irradiated poly(dG-dC). These experiments demonstrate that UV-induced cytosine hydrate may persist in DNA for prolonged time periods and also undergo deamination to uracil hydrate, which in turn undergoes dehydration to yield uracil. The formation and stability of these photoproducts in DNA may have promoted the evolutionary development of the repair enzyme endonuclease III and analogous DNA glycosylase/endonuclease activities of higher organisms, as well as the development of uracil-DNA glycosylase.