DNA damage induced by bleomycin, neocarzinostatin, and melphalan in a precisely positioned nucleosome. Asymmetry in protection at the periphery of nucleosome-bound DNA
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The antitumor drugs bleomycin, neocarzinostatin, and melphalan all damage DNA by mechanisms which involve binding in the minor groove. In order to examine at high resolution the modulating effects of chromatin structure on the action of these drugs, an end-labeled DNA fragment from the Xenopus laevis 5 S rRNA gene was reconstituted with histone octamers to form a precisely positioned nucleosome. For each drug, DNA damage at specific sequence positions in the fragment was then compared for
... some-bound versus naked DNA. Reconstitution into nucleosomes resulted in a marked inhibition of the DNA cleavage induced by bleomycin (5-fold) and neocarzinostatin (2.4-fold) in the central region of nucleosomal DNA. However, at the periphery of nucleosome-bound DNA, a distinct asymmetry was apparent, with marked inhibition of cleavage toward the upstream side, but little if any inhibition toward the downstream side, which overlaps the binding site of the transcription factor TFIIIA. In the case of melphalan, alkylation at adenine N-3 was inhibited by nearly 2-fold throughout the nucleosome, whereas alkylation at guanine N-7 was either slightly inhibited or slightly enhanced, depending on sequence position. None of the drugs showed the 10-base pair periodicity characteristic of hydroxyl radical-induced cleavage of nucleosomal DNA. The results are consistent with a model in which minor groove sites in nucleosome-bound DNA remain relatively accessible to small molecules, even where the minor groove faces the histone core, and in which drug-induced DNA damage is inhibited by conformational constraints imposed on DNA by nucleosome structure. Furthermore, the degree of such constraints appears to be sequence-dependent, at least near the periphery of nucleosome-bound DNA.