Dual chemical labeling enables nucleotide-resolution mapping of DNA abasic sites and common alkylation damage in human mitochondrial DNA

Nucleic Acids Res. 2023 Jul 21;51(13):e73. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad502.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) modifications play an emerging role in innate immunity and inflammatory diseases. Nonetheless, relatively little is known regarding the locations of mtDNA modifications. Such information is critically important for deciphering their roles in mtDNA instability, mtDNA-mediated immune and inflammatory responses, and mitochondrial disorders. The affinity probe-based enrichment of lesion-containing DNA represents a key strategy for sequencing DNA modifications. Existing methods are limited in the enrichment specificity of abasic (AP) sites, a prevalent DNA modification and repair intermediate. Herein, we devise a novel approach, termed dual chemical labeling-assisted sequencing (DCL-seq), for mapping AP sites. DCL-seq features two designer compounds for enriching and mapping AP sites specifically at single-nucleotide resolution. For proof of principle, we mapped AP sites in mtDNA from HeLa cells under different biological conditions. The resulting AP site maps coincide with mtDNA regions with low TFAM (mitochondrial transcription factor A) coverage and with potential G-quadruplex-forming sequences. In addition, we demonstrated the broader applicability of the method in sequencing other DNA modifications in mtDNA, such as N7-methyl-2'-deoxyguanosine and N3-methyl-2'-deoxyadenosine, when coupled with a lesion-specific repair enzyme. Together, DCL-seq holds the promise to sequence multiple DNA modifications in various biological samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkylation
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA, Mitochondrial* / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial* / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Nucleotides
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Nucleotides