K-ras gene sequence effects on the formation of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-DNA adducts

Rebecca Ziegel, Anthony Shallop, Roger Jones, Natalia Tretyakova

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42 Scopus citations


The tobacco specific pulmonary carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) is metabolically activated to electrophilic species that form methyl and pyridyloxobutyl adducts with genomic DNA, including O6-methylguanine, N7-methylguanine, and O6-[4-oxo-4-(3-pyridyl)butyl]guanine. If not repaired, these lesions could lead to mutations and the initiation of cancer. Previous studies used ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction (LMPCR) in combination with PAGE to examine the distribution of NNK-induced strand breaks and alkali labile lesions (e.g., N7-methylguanine) within gene sequences. However, LMPCR cannot be used to establish the distribution patterns of highly promutagenic O6-methylguanine and O6-[4-oxo-4-(3-pyridyl)butyl]guanine adducts of NNK. We have developed methods based on stable isotope labeling HPLC-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI MS/MS) that enable us to accurately quantify NNK-induced adducts at defined sites within DNA sequences. In the present study, the formation of N7-methylguanine, O6-methylguanine, and O6-[4-oxo-4-(3-pyridyl)butyl] guanine adducts at specific positions within a K-ras gene-derived double-stranded DNA sequence (5′-G1G2AG3 CTG4G5TG6G7CG8TA G9G10C-3′) was investigated following treatment with activated NNK metabolites. All three lesions preferentially formed at the second position of codon 12 (GGT), the major mutational hotspot for G→A and G→T base substitutions observed in smoking-induced lung tumors. Therefore, our data support the involvement of NNK and other tobacco specific nitrosamines in mutagenesis and carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-550
Number of pages10
JournalChemical research in toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


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