Repair of oxidative stress- and inflammation-induced DNA lesions by the base excision repair (BER) pathway prevents mutation, a form of genomic instability which is often observed in cancer as 'mutation hotspots'. This suggests that some sequences have inherent mutability, possibly due to sequencerelated differences in repair. This study has explored intrinsic mutability as a consequence of sequencespecific repair of lipid peroxidation-induced DNA adduct, 1, N6-ethenoadenine (εA). For the first time, we observed significant delay in repair of εA at mutation hotspots in the tumor suppressor gene p53 compared to non-hotspots in live human hepatocytes and endothelial cells using an in-cell real time PCR-based method. In-cell and in vitro mechanism studies revealed that this delay in repair was due to inefficient turnover of N-methylpurine-DNA glycosylase (MPG), which initiates BER of εA. We determined that the product dissociation rate of MPG at the hotspot codons was ≈5-12-fold lower than the non-hotspots, suggesting a previously unknown mechanism for slower repair at mutation hotspots and implicating sequence-related variability of DNA repair efficiency to be responsible for mutation hotspot signatures.
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