Site specificity of bleomycin-mediated single-strand scissions and alkali-labile damage in duplex DNA

Robert (Stephen) Lloyd, Charles W. Haidle, Donald L. Robberson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Form II PM2 DNA, which contained bleomycin-mediated single-strand breaks, was purified and treated with the extracellular endonuclease from Alteromonas BAL 31. This enzyme cleaves the phosphodiester backbone opposite a single-strand break to yield a double-strand break. The locations of these double-strand breaks were determined relative to the cleavage sites produced by the restriction enzyme HindIII. The experimental procedure was as follows. Form I PM2 DNA was treated with bleomycin to produce alkali-labile bonds. These were hydrolyzed by alkali treatment and the DNA, now containing single-strand breaks, was purified and treated with the BAL 31 enzyme and the HindIII enzyme to determine the positions of the original alkali-labile bonds. It was found that the single-strand breaks and alkali-labile bonds were introduced at preferred sites on the PM2 genome, since electrophoretic analyses of the DNA after the HindIII digestion revealed DNA bands of discrete sizes. The molecular weights of the DNA fragments produced by these treatments indicate that single-strand breaks and alkali-labile bonds occur at the same sites as those previously determined for direct double-strand scissions introduced by bleomycin at neutral pH. Some of the specific sites of double-strand scissions mediated by bleomycin at neutral pH (Lloyd et al., 1978b) are also shown here to be relatively more reactive than other sites when the DNA contains superhelical turns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes



  • agarose gel electrophoresis
  • Anticancer drug
  • covalently closed circular DNA
  • restriction enzymes
  • single-strand-break-specific endonuclease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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