Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Recognition and incision of Cr(III) ligand-conjugated DNA adducts by the nucleotide excision repair proteins UvrABC: importance of the Cr(III)-purine moiety in the enzymatic reaction.

Authors: Arakawa, Hirohumi; Tang, Moon-Shong

Published In Chem Res Toxicol, (2008 Jun)

Abstract: Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is an ubiquitous environmental contaminant and a well-known etiological agent of human lung cancer. Inside human cells, Cr(VI) is reduced to Cr(III), which can conjugate with amino acids, ascorbic acids, and glutathiones in the cytoplasm. Conjugated and unconjugated Cr(III) can enter the nucleus to form adducts with DNA and electrostatically interact with the phosphate group of DNA. It has been found that in both human and Escherichia coli systems, Cr(III) ligand-conjugated DNA ternary adducts are efficiently repaired by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. In contrast, DNA adducts formed by unconjugated Cr(III) with DNA are repaired significantly less efficiently by the NER system. These results raise the possibility that the NER system repairs Cr(III) ligand-conjugated DNA adducts and biadducts such as Cr(III)-guanine-phosphate adducts but not Cr(III)-phosphate adducts. To test this hypothesis, we determined the cutting efficiency and the mode of cutting of DNA modified with tannin-conjugated Cr(III) by the E. coli NER enzymes UvrABC. Tannin compounds, gallic acid (GA), and ethyl gallate (EGA) can reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) to form Cr(III)-GA 2 and Cr(III)-EGA 2, respectively, which can interact with a single guanine or adenine base but not with the DNA phosphate backbone. We found that UvrABC is able to incise Cr(III)-GA 2- and Cr(III)-EGA 2-modified plasmid DNA, and the amount of incision increased as a function of tannin concentration used for modifications. In contrast, UvrABC nuclease does not incise GA- and EGA-modified plasmid DNA. Mapping the sequence specificity of Cr(III)-GA 2- and Cr(III)-EGA 2-DNA formation in the human p53 gene sequence by UvrABC nuclease cutting, we found that the sequence specificity for both adducts is the same but is much more selective than Cr(III)-guanine-DNA adducts. Together, these results suggest that NER proteins from E. coli recognize the purine-Cr(III) adduct but not the Cr(III)-backbone phosphate complex.

PubMed ID: 18452313 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Chromium/chemistry*; DNA Adducts/chemistry*; DNA Adducts/metabolism*; DNA Repair/genetics*; Endodeoxyribonucleases/metabolism*; Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism*; Escherichia coli/enzymology; Ligands; Molecular Structure; Plasmids/metabolism; Purines/chemistry*

to Top