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Ultrafast Oxime Formation Enables Efficient Fluorescence Light-up Measurement of DNA Base Excision

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journal contribution
posted on 27.11.2019, 20:43 by David L. Wilson, Eric T. Kool
DNA glycosylases constitute a biologically and biomedically important group of DNA repair enzymes responsible for initiating base excision repair (BER). Measuring their activities can be useful for studying the mechanisms DNA damage and repair and for practical applications in cancer diagnosis and drug screening. Previous fluorescence methods for assaying DNA glycosylases are often complex and/or limited in scope to a single enzyme type. Here we report a universal base excision reporter (UBER) fluorescence probe design that implements an unprecedentedly rapid oxime reaction (>150 M–1 s–1) with high specificity for the abasic (AP) site of DNA. The molecular rotor design achieves a robust >250–500-fold increase in fluorescence upon reaction with AP sites in DNA. By using the fluorescence reporter in concert with specific DNA lesion-containing substrates, the UBER probe can be used in a coupled assay in principle with any DNA glycosylase. We demonstrate the utility of the UBER probe by assaying five different glycosylases in real time as well as profiling glycosylase activity in cell lysates. We anticipate that the UBER probe will be of considerable utility to researchers studying DNA repair biology owing to its high level of generalizability, ease of use, and compatibility with biologically derived samples.