Indexed on: 06 May '12Published on: 06 May '12Published in: Structural Chemistry
Etheno-damaged DNA adducts such as 3,N4-ethenocytosine, N2,3-ethenoguanine, and 1,N2-ethenoguanine are associated with carcinogenesis and cell death. These inevitable damages are counteracted by glycosylase enzymes, which cleave damaged nucleobases from DNA. Escherichia coli alkyl purine DNA glycosylase is the enzyme responsible for excising damaged etheno adducts from DNA in humans. In an effort to understand the intrinsic properties of these molecules, we examined gas-phase acidity values and proton affinities (PA) of multiple sites of these molecules as well as equilibrium tautomerization and base pairing properties by quantum mechanical calculations. We also used calculations to compare the acidic and basic properties of these etheno adduct with those of the normal bases—cytosine and guanine nucleobases. We hypothesize that alkyl DNA glycosylase may cleave certain damaged nucleobases as anions and that the active site may take advantage of a nonpolar environment to favor deprotonated cytosine or guanine as a leaving group versus damaged nucleobases.