Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro quantitation of N-7-guanine adducts of diepoxybutane

Natalia Yu Tretyakova, Ramiah Sangaiah, Ten Yang Yen, James A. Swenberg

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Diepoxybutane (DEB) is an important metabolite of 1,3-butadiene (BD), a high-volume industrial chemical classified as a probable human carcinogen. Rodent inhalation studies show strikingly high sensitivity of mice to carcinogenic effects of butadiene compared to rats, which has been linked to differences in metabolism. Both species convert BD to 3,4-epoxy-1-butene (EB), but mice further oxidize a significantly greater part of EB to DEB. DEB is a potent bifunctional genotoxic agent which is 100-fold more mutagenic than EB and is likely to be involved in BD-induced carcinogenesis. Identification of specific BD-induced DNA adducts is critical to understanding the mechanism of its biological activity. We have previously described reactions of EB with guanine and adenine as nucleobases, nucleosides, and constituents of DNA. In this work, DEB-induced guanine adducts were isolated and structurally characterized by UV spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance. When guanosine was reacted with DEB in glacial acetic acid followed by hydrolysis in hydrochloric acid, three products were isolated: N-7-(2',3',4'-trihydroxybut-1'-yl)guanine (DEB-Gua I, major adduct), N-7-(2',4'-dihydroxy-3'-chlorobut-1'-yl)guanine (DEB-Gua II), and N-7-(2',3'-dihydroxy-4'-acetoxybut-1'-yl)guanine (DEB-Gua III). We suggest initial formation of the N-7-(2'-hydroxy-3',4'-epoxybut-1'-yl)guanine intermediate followed by nucleophilic substitution at the 3',4'-epoxy ring with hydroxide, chloride, or acetate anions to give DEB-Gua I, II, or III, respectively. DEB-Gua I and the epoxy intermediate were also isolated from hydrolysates of DEB-exposed calf thymus DNA (CT DNA). N-7-Guanine adducts are known to undergo spontaneous and enzymatic depurination producing apurinic sites. If not repaired before DNA replication, apurinic sites can give rise to mutations and ultimately cancer. The extent of alkylation at the N-7 of guanine in DEB-exposed DNA (58.7 ± 1.1 adducts/103 normal guanines) was similar to that previously reported for CT DNA exposed to EB at the same molar ratio. Since EB and DEB appear to induce comparable levels of overall DNA alkylation at the conditions applied in this work, other factors, such as formation of DNA cross-links by DEB but not EB or differences in repair of EB and DEB adducts, may be responsible for the differences in mutagenicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)779-785
Number of pages7
JournalChemical research in toxicology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997


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