The Extent of DNA Deformation in DNA Photolyase– Substrate Complexes: A Solution State Fluorescence Study


*email: (Robert J. Stanley)


Cyclobutylpyrimidine dimers (CPDs) are the major UV photoproduct formed in DNA containing adjacent pyrimidines. These lesions can be repaired by DNA photolyase, a flavoprotein that utilizes blue light in a direct reversal of the cyclobutane ring. Previous studies have shown that the CPD is base flipped into the protein, with concomitant disruption of the substrate around the CPD. In this study, we use a fluorescent cytidine analog, pyrrolo-dC (PC), to probe how far base flipping propagates along the duplex. From these measurements, the degree of base destacking in the two bases flanking the adenines opposing the CPD appears to be minimal, which was consistent with the protein:substrate crystal structure. Fluorescence-detected melting temperatures for duplexes with and without a CPD were obtained, suggesting that a 5′-pyrimidine-PC-purine-3′ motif is more stable than the 5′-purine-PC-pyrimidine-3′ motif. This stability trend was reflected in the fluorescence intensities of ss-PC oligos but not for duplexes. The melting point depression due to the PC probe was found to be comparable to other popular fluorescent base analogs.