Modified immunoenriched (32)P-HPLC assay for the detection of O(4)-ethylthymidine in human biomonitoring studies

R.W.L. Godschalk, J. Nair*, C. Kliem, M. Wiessler, G. Bouvier, H. Bartsch

*Corresponding author for this work

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Modified immunoenriched (32)P-HPLC assay for the detection of O(4)-ethylthymidine in human biomonitoring studies.

Godschalk R, Nair J, Kliem HC, Wiessler M, Bouvier G, Bartsch H.

Division of Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Increased excretion of ethylated DNA bases has been reported in the urine of cigarette smokers. To study DNA ethylation in the target organs of smokers, an immunoenriched (32)P-postlabeling assay for O(4)-ethylthymidine (O(4)-etT) was developed. O(4)-etT-3'-monophosphate (O(4)-etT-3'P) was synthesized, purified, and characterized by LC-MS, ESI-MS, and NMR. DNA was enzymatically digested to 2'-deoxynucleoside-3'-monophosphate followed by immunoprecipitation of O(4)-etT-3'P using specific monoclonal antibodies. The immunoconjugate was washed by filtration, and O(4)-etT-3'P was recovered by ethanol treatment. The enriched O(4)-etT-3'P was labeled with [gamma-(32)P]ATP in the presence of T4-polynucleotide kinase at pH 6.8 to yield its 5'-labeled monophosphate and was subsequently resolved on RP-HPLC and detected with online detection of radioactivity. Adduct recovery was >80%, and the detection limit was approximately 500 amol. To further validate the method, O(4)-etT levels were determined in calf thymus DNA treated with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, and a dose-dependent formation of O(4)-etT was observed. Furthermore, O(4)-etT was found to be present in the cells obtained from the lower respiratory tract by sputum induction of two out of four smokers but not in three nonsmokers. O(4)-etT is a poorly repaired promutagenic DNA lesion; thus, it could be of potential use for biomonitoring smoking-related DNA damage. Our improved assay was found to be sufficiently sensitive and specific to detect O(4)-etT in surrogate cells from cigarette smoke exposed humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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