Origin of malondialdehyde from DNA degraded by Fe(II)-bleomycin

R. M. Burger, A. R. Berkowitz, J. Peisach, S. B. Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Ferrous bleomycin is known to break DNA efficiently in vitro in the presence of O2, giving rise to oligonucleotides, bases, and compounds resembling malondialdehyde in their chromogenic reaction with 2-thiobarbituric acid. Chromatography of radiolabeled DNA reaction mixtures resolves three kinds of malondialdehyde-like products, related by sequential conversions. The first chromogenic product is linked to DNA, and its formation does not entail the release of a base. It decomposes readily to the second product, a compound containing the base and deoxyribose carbons 1'-3'. Hydrolysis of either product yields the third, which is indistinguishable from authentic malondialdehyde. These findings suggest that the oxygen-dependent cleavage of DNA of Fe(II)·bleomycin can begin with the rupture of the deoxyribose 3'-4'-carbon bond. The initiation of these events is concurrent with the initiation of another mode of DNA degradation, involving the release of free base alone, in a yield similar to that of chromogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11832-11838
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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