Base excision repair of oxidative DNA damage activated by XPG protein.
Oxidized pyrimidines in DNA are removed by a distinct base excision repair pathway initiated by the DNA glycosylase--AP lyase hNth1 in human cells. We have reconstituted this single-residue replacement pathway with recombinant proteins, including the AP endonuclease HAP1/APE, DNA polymerase beta, and DNA ligase III-XRCC1 heterodimer. With these proteins, the nucleotide excision repair enzyme XPG serves as a cofactor for the efficient function of hNth1. XPG protein promotes binding of hNth1 to damaged DNA. The stimulation of hNth1 activity is retained in XPG catalytic site mutants inactive in nucleotide excision repair. The data support the model that development of Cockayne syndrome in XP-G patients is related to inefficient excision of endogenous oxidative DNA damage. (+info
Synthesis of bacteriophage phi6 double-stranded ribonucleic acid.
Uracil was incorporated into all three bacteriophage phi6 dsRNA segments throughout the infection cycle; the rates of incorporation into each of the three segments were approx. constant for the first 15 to 20 min and then increased rapidly until 50 min after infection. The medium and small dsRNA segments were produced in greater amounts than the large dsRNA segment at all times in the infection cycle. Inhibition of host RNA and protein synthesis with rifampin and chloramphenicol revealed that virus dsRNA synthesis immediately after infection was independent of either host function. (+info
Phase I study of eniluracil, a dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inactivator, and oral 5-fluorouracil with radiation therapy in patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancer.
5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is an effective enhancer of radiation therapy (RT) in head and neck cancers. Due to rapid, predominantly hepatic metabolism by dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and suggested clinical benefit from prolonged drug exposure, 5-FU is commonly given by continuous infusion. Eniluracil is a novel DPD-inactivator designed to prolong the half-life of 5-FU and provide sustained plasma concentrations of 5-FU with oral dosing. We conducted a Phase I study of the safety and efficacy of eniluracil given with oral 5-FU in patients receiving concurrent RT for recurrent or advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Thirteen patients with recurrent, metastatic, or high-risk (defined as an expected 2-year survival rate of <10%) head and neck cancer were enrolled and treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy on an every-other-week schedule. Eniluracil at a fixed dose [20 mg twice a day (BID)] was given for 7 consecutive days (days 1-7). 5-FU and RT were given on 5 consecutive days (days 2-6). One patient was treated with once-daily RT (2.0 Gy fractions). The remaining patients received hyperfractionated RT (1.5-Gy fractions BID). The initial dose of 5-FU was 2.5 mg/m2 given BID. Dose escalation in patient cohorts was scheduled at 2.5-mg/m2 increments, with intrapatient dose escalation permitted. Lymphocyte DPD activity and serum 5-FU and uracil concentrations were monitored during two cycles. DPD activity was completely or nearly completely inactivated in all patients. Sustained, presumed therapeutic concentrations of 5-FU were observed at a dose of 5.0 mg/m2 given BID. Cumulative dose-limiting myelosuppression (both neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) was observed during the fourth and fifth cycles following administration of 5.0 mg/m2 5-FU BID. One patient died of neutropenic sepsis during cycle 4. Other late cycle toxicities included diarrhea, fatigue, and mucositis. Grade 3 mucositis was observed in 4 patients, but no grade 4 mucositis or grade 3 or 4 dermatitis was observed. A second patient death occurred during cycle 1 of treatment. No specific cause of death was identified. The study was subsequently discontinued. Cumulative myelosupression was the significant dose-limiting toxicity of oral 5-FU given with the DPD-inactivator eniluracil on an every-other-week schedule. Clinical radiation sensitization was not observed, based on the absence of dose-limiting mucositis and dermatitis. Alternative dosing schedules need to be examined to determine the most appropriate use of eniluracil and 5-FU as radiation enhancers. (+info
Base pairing of anhydrohexitol nucleosides with 2,6-diaminopurine, 5-methylcytosine and uracil asbase moiety.
Hexitol nucleic acids (HNAs) with modified bases (5-methylcytosine, 2,6-diaminopurine or uracil) were synthesized. The introduction of the 5-methylcytosine base demonstrates that N -benzoylated 5-methylcytosyl-hexitol occurs as the imino tautomer. The base pairing systems (G:CMe, U:D, T:D and U:A) obey Watson-Crick rules. Substituting hT for hU, hCMefor hC and hD for hA generally leads to increased duplex stability. In a single case, replacement of hC by hCMedid not result in duplex stabilization. This sequence-specific effect could be explained by the geometry of the model duplex used for carrying out the thermal stability study. Generally, polypurine HNA sequences give more stable duplexes with their RNA complement than polypyrimidine HNA sequences. This observation supports the hypothesis that, besides changes in stacking pattern, the difference in conformational stress between purine and pyrimidine nucleosides may contribute to duplex stability. Introduction of hCMeand hD in HNA sequences further increases the potential of HNA to function as a steric blocking agent. (+info
Smoothing of the thermal stability of DNA duplexes by using modified nucleosides and chaotropic agents.
The effect of alkyltrimethylammonium ions on the thermostability of natural and modified DNA duplexes has been investigated. We have shown that the use of tetramethylammonium ions TMA+along with the chemical modification of duplexes allow the fine adjustment of T m and the possibility of obtaining several duplex systems with varied isostabilizedtemperatures, some of which show greater stability than those of natural DNA. This approach could be very useful for DNA sequencing by hybridization. (+info
Five caffeine metabolite ratios to measure tobacco-induced CYP1A2 activity and their relationships with urinary mutagenicity and urine flow.
To choose a sensitive protocol to discriminate populations exposed and not exposed to inducers, five urinary metabolite ratios (MRs) [MR1 (17X + 17U)/137X, MR2 (5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil [AFMU] + 1X + 1U)/17U, MR3 (17X/137X), MR4 (AFMU + 1X + 1U + 17X + 17U)/137X, and MR5 (AFMU + 1X + 1U)/17X] were calculated in 4-5 h and 0-24 h urine samples after caffeine intake. One hundred twenty-five healthy volunteers (59 nonsmokers and 66 smokers) were included in the study. All ratios showed a log-normal distribution. MR2 in the two time intervals was the only ratio nondependent on the urine flow. Differences between nonsmokers and smokers could be detected with all ratios at 4-5 h. However, only MR2 and, to a lesser extent, MR5 allowed the discrimination of higher cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) activity in smokers in the 0-24 h sample. Although smokers had increased urinary mutagenicity in relation to nonsmokers, a significant association between MRs and urine mutagenicity was observed only with MR2 in the 4-5 h interval; this ratio/time schedule being that of higher association with tobacco consumption. The most flow-dependent ratios, MR1, MR3, and MR4, were closely correlated with each other at the two intervals. The flow dependency profile of each ratio may explain their different power to indicate both tobacco exposure and tobacco-derived mutagenicity. In conclusion, MR2 in the period of 4-5 h after caffeine intake seems preferable, especially at high urine flow rates. (+info
Uracil-induced down-regulation of the yeast uracil permease.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the FUR4-encoded uracil permease catalyzes the first step of the pyrimidine salvage pathway. The availability of uracil has a negative regulatory effect upon its own transport. Uracil causes a decrease in the level of uracil permease, partly by decreasing the FUR4 mRNA level in a promoter-independent fashion, probably by increasing its instability. Uracil entry also triggers more rapid degradation of the existing permease by promoting high efficiency of ubiquitination of the permease that signals its internalization. A direct binding of intracellular uracil to the permease is possibly involved in this feedback regulation, as the behavior of the permease is similar in mutant cells unable to convert intracellular uracil into UMP. We used cells impaired in the ubiquitination step to show that the addition of uracil produces rapid inhibition of uracil transport. This may be the first response prior to the removal of the permease from the plasma membrane. Similar down-regulation of uracil uptake, involving several processes, was observed under adverse conditions mainly corresponding to a decrease in the cellular content of ribosomes. These results suggest that uracil of exogenous or catabolic origin down-regulates the cognate permease to prevent buildup of excess intracellular uracil-derived nucleotides. (+info
Only one of the charged amino acids located in membrane-spanning regions is important for the function of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae uracil permease.
The transport of uracil into the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is mediated by uracil permease, a specific co-transporter encoded by the FUR4 gene. Uracil permease is a multispan membrane protein that is delivered to the plasma membrane via the secretory pathway. Experimental results led to the proposal of a two-dimensional model of the protein's topology. According to this model, the membrane domain of Fur4p contains three charged amino acid residues (Glu-243, Lys-272 and Glu-539) that are conserved in the members of the FUR family of yeast transporters. We have previously shown that a mis-sense mutation leading to the replacement of Lys-272 by Glu severely impairs the function of uracil permease. In the present paper, the role of the three charged residues present in the membrane-spanning regions of Fur4p was further investigated by using site-directed mutagenesis. The variant permeases were correctly targeted to the plasma membrane and their stabilities were similar to that of the wild-type permease. The effect of the mutations was studied by measuring the uptake constants for uracil on whole cells and equilibrium binding parameters on plasma membrane-enriched fractions. We found no evidence for ionic interaction between either of the glutamic residues in transmembrane segments 3 and 9 and the lysine residue in transmembrane segment 4. Of the three charged residues, only Lys-272 was important for the transport activity of the transporter. Its replacement by Ala, Glu or even Arg strongly impaired both the binding and the translocation of uracil. (+info