Strand Breaks Produced in X-Irradiated Crystalline Dna: Influence of Base Sequence

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This study reports the radiation-chemical yields for DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) in crystals of CGCACG: CGTGCG (I) and CACGCG:CGCGTG (II) duplexes induced by direct ionization using X rays. The DNA fragmentation products, consisting of 3′- and 5′-phosphate-terminated fragments, were quantified by ion-exchange chromatography using a set of reference compounds. The yields of single-strand breaks in I and II are 0.16 ± 0.03 μmol/J and 0.07 ± 0.02 μmol/J, respectively. The probability of cleavage at a given site is relatively independent of which of the four bases is at that site. For the very small sample of base sequences studied to date, there is no obvious dependence on base sequence. However, there appears to be an increased frequency of strand breaks at the non-phosphorylated termini of the oligodeoxynucleotides. These results show that direct ionization is efficient at producing single-strand breaks in DNA and that its action is relatively indiscriminate with respect to base sequence.