The nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) is an important tobacco-specific carcinogen associated with lung cancer. Its complex enzymatic activation, leading to methyl and pyridyloxobutyl (POB)-modified DNA, makes DNA damage difficult to characterize and quantify. Therefore, we use the NNK analogue 4-[(acetoxymethyl)nitrosamino]-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNKOAc) to induce damage in genomic DNA, and to map the sites and frequency of adducts at nucleotide resolution using ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction and terminal transferase-dependent polymerase chain reactions (LMPCR and TDPCR). NNKOAc induced single-strand breaks in a concentration-dependent manner. Post-alkylation treatments, including hot piperidine or digestion with the enzymes Escherichia coli 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylase II, formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase, Escherichia coli endonuclease III, or phage T4 UV endonuclease V did not increase the level of DNA breaks in NNKOAc-treated DNA. Detection of DNA damage using LMPCR was possible only when POB-DNA was 5'-phosphorylated prior to the LMPCR procedure. NNKOAc generated damage at all four bases with the decreasing order guanine>adenine>cytosine>thymine. In contrast to NNKOAc damage distribution patterns, those induced by N-nitroso(acetoxymethyl)methylamine, a methylating NNK analog, induced damage principally at G positions detectable by enzymatic means that did not require phosphorylation. Analysis of damage distribution patterns, reveals a high frequency of damage in the p53 gene in codons 241 and 245 and a lower frequency of damage in codon 248. We analyzed the 3' termini of the NNKOAc induced single-strand breaks using a (32)P-post-labeling assay or a nucleotide exchange reaction at the 3'-termini catalyzed by T4 DNA polymerase combined with endonuclease IV treatment. Both methods indicate that the 3' termini of the single-strand breaks are not hydroxyl groups and are blocked by an unknown chemical structure that is not recognized by endonuclease IV. These data are consistent with POB-phosphotriester hydrolysis leading to strand breaks in DNA. The POB-damage could be mutagenic because NNKOAc produces single-strand breaks with the products being a 5'-hydroxyl group and a 3'-blocking group and strand breaks. These results represent the first step in determining if NNK pyridyloxobutylates DNA with sequence specificity similar to those observed with other model compounds.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.