It has been previously reported that the potent enediyne antitumor antibiotic C1027 chromophore produces in DNA restriction fragments double-strand lesions at the sequence GTTA1T/ATA2A3C (damage positions are numbered), involving A1 and A3 [Xu, Y.-j., Zhen, Y.-s., & Goldberg, I. H. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 5947-5954]. Using oligodeoxynucleotide substrates, an additional double-strand lesion has been found within this sequence to involve A1 and A2. The lesions, which include strand breaks and abasic sites, are due to hydrogen atom abstraction from C4' at A1 and from C5'at A3 or C1' at A2 by the diradical species of activated drug. Lesions at A2 or A3 are always part of double-strand lesions. The drug radical center involved in attack at A2 or A3 is readily quenched by solvent methanol so as to produce a single-strand lesion at A1. By using methanol containing carbon-bound deuterium, there is a substantial isotope effect on the quenching reaction, resulting in enhanced double-strand lesion formation. In the absence of methanol, almost all damage at A1 belongs to double-strand lesions. There is a considerable flexibility of the drug radical attacking A2 or A3, such that the presence of deuterium at C1' of A2 results in substantial shuttling of the attack to the C5' of the neighboring nucleotide A3. These data strongly suggest the presence of a single mode of binding of activated drug but one which permits the drug diradical center attacking A2 or A3 to have considerable leeway in target selection. Quantitative affinity cleavage binding analysis is consistent with this proposal.