Bizelesin is a promising novel anticancer agent which is known to alkylate N3 of adenine to induce DNA interstrand cross-links (ISC) with in $5^I-TAATTA\; and\; 5^I-TAAAAAA$. We have investigated the base specificity for DNA ISC induced by bizelesin using oligomers containing the cross-linkable sequence $5^I-TAATTA\; and\; 5^I-TAAAAAA$. in which "N" was either A, C, G, or T. An analysis of denaturing polyacrylamide gel showed that bizelesin is able to induce DNA ISC in the duplex oligomer containing sequences $5^I-TAATTA\; and\; 5^I-TAAAAAA$. The formation of interstrand crosslinking did not occur in the sequences $5^I-TAATTA\; and\; 5^I-TAAAAAA$. DNA strand cleavage assay to determine the cross-linking site within $5^I-TAATTA$sequence showed that bizelesin alkylates guanine. These results demonstrate that bizelesin is able to induce DNA ISC at guanine but not at cytosine or thymine. In addition, guanine adducts have been found to be susceptible to DNA strand cleavage by exposure to hot piperidine. The extent of DNA strand cleavage, however, was not 100% efficient in either neutral pH buffer or hot piperidine.
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