Crosslinking of the complementary strands of DNA by UV light: dependence on the oligonucleotide composition of the UV irradiated DNA
UV light crosslinks the complementary strands of DNA. The interstrand crosslinks may contribute to the biological and pathological effects that UV irradiation is known to bring about. Here alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis was used to assess the crosslinked fraction of 31 selected restriction fragments of six viral and plasmid DNA molecules exposed to UVC light irradiation. As many as 17 independent experiments were performed with the particular DNA fragments to get sufficiently precise data suitable for quantitative analyses. The data were used to determine how the crosslinked fraction depended on the dinucleotide, trinucleotide and tetranucleotide contents of the irradiated DNA fragments. This analysis demonstrated that DNA conformation and/or flexibility, rather than the local double helix thermostability, governed the phenomenon of crosslinking. For example, (GA). (TC) suppressed the crosslink formation in DNA more than any dinucleotide composed of only G and C. In addition, (CTAG). (CTAG) promoted crosslinking much more than any other tetranucleotide, including e.g. (TATA). (TATA), whereas the closely related (CATG). (CATG) belonged among the tetranucleotides that most suppressed the UV light induced crosslinks between the complementary strands of DNA. The present data reproduced crosslinking of the analyzed 31 restriction fragments with a correlation coefficient exceeding 0.90. This result will be useful to predict crosslinking along the whole human genome. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights :reserved.