A simpler, more robust method for the analysis of 8-oxoguanine in DNA

Kenneth B. Beckman, Sepehr Saljoughi, Susan T. Mashiyama, Bruce N. Ames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The oxidized DNA base 8-oxoguanine has been commonly measured by enzymatic digestion of DNA to nucleosides followed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation of the adduct 8-oxodeoxyguanosine. There has recently been an enormous debate surrounding the validity of this approach, from which it has become clear that artifactual oxidation of the native base to 8-oxoguanine can occur at numerous stages in sample preparation. Hence, we have designed an alternative protocol to traditional enzymatic digestion of DNA which (i) limits the potential for artifactual oxidation, (ii) speeds up the assay markedly, (iii) increases the assay's sensitivity moderately, and (iv) addresses criticisms that have been raised concerning the efficiency of DNA digestion by nucleases. In short, we use the Escherichia coli repair enzyme formamidopyrimidine (Fapy) glycosylase to release the base 8- oxoguanine from full-length DNA, then separate 8-oxoguanine from high molecular weight molecules by ultrafiltration (10,000 Da exclusion) and analyze the base adduct by reverse-phase HPLC. Benefits of this approach include (i) rapid removal of the roughly million-fold molar excess of unaltered bases from the sample, (ii) reduction in the length of enzymatic incubations and the number of steps, (iii) elimination of high temperature incubation, (iv) a very clean chromatographic separation, and (v) rapid elution of the analyte and correspondingly greater throughput. Using this improved method, we have followed the induction of 8-oxoguanine in the DNA of peroxide-treated HeLa cells, an experiment that had proved cumbersome with traditional methods. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-367
Number of pages11
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants to B.N.A. from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Grant ES01896), the National Institute on Aging (Grant AG17140), the Ellison Foundation (Grant SS0422-99), and the Department of Energy (Grant DE-FG03-00ER6Z943). The authors acknowledge the helpful comments of Mark K. Shigenaga and Harold J. Helbock.


  • 8-oxodG
  • 8-oxodeoxyguanosine
  • 8-oxogua
  • 8-oxoguanine
  • DNA oxidative damage
  • DNA repair
  • Fapy glycosylase
  • Free radicals
  • Oxidative mutagenesis


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