Abasic sites are ubiquitous DNA lesions that are mutagenic and cytotoxic but are removed by the base excision repair pathway. DNA polymerase β carries out two of the four steps during base excision repair, including a lyase reaction that removes the abasic site from DNA following incision of its 5′-phosphate. DNA polymerase β is overexpressed in cancer cells and is a potential anticancer target. Recently, DNA oxidized abasic sites that are produced by potent antitumor agents were shown to inactivate DNA polymerase β. A library of small molecules whose structures were inspired by the oxidized abasic sites was synthesized and screened for the ability to irreversibly inhibit DNA polymerase β. One candidate (3a) was examined more thoroughly, and modification of its phosphate backbone led to a molecule that irreversibly inactivates DNA polymerase β in solution (IC50 ≈ 21 μM), and inhibits the enzyme's lyase activity in cell lysates. A bisacetate analogue is converted in cell lysates to 3a. The bisacetate is more effective in cell lysates, more cytotoxic in prostate cancer cells than 3a and potentiates the cytotoxicity of methyl methanesulfonate between 2- and 5-fold. This is the first example of an irreversible inhibitor of the lyase activity of DNA polymerase β that works synergistically with a DNA damaging agent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry