Divergent synthesis of 5-substituted pyrimidine 2′-deoxynucleosides and their incorporation into oligodeoxynucleotides for the survey of uracil DNA glycosylases†
Recent studies have indicated that 5-methylcytosine (5mC) residues in DNA can be oxidized and potentially deaminated to the corresponding thymine analogs. Some of these oxidative DNA damages have been implicated as new epigenetic markers that could have profound influences on chromatin function as well as disease pathology. In response to oxidative damage, the cells have a complex network of repair systems that recognize, remove and rebuild the lesions. However, how the modified nucleobases are detected and repaired remains elusive, largely due to the limited availability of synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing these novel DNA modifications. A concise and divergent synthetic strategy to 5mC derivatives has been developed. These derivatives were further elaborated to the corresponding phosphoramidites to enable the site-specific incorporation of modified nucleobases into ODNs using standard solid-phase DNA synthesis. The synthetic methodology, along with the panel of ODNs, is of great value to investigate the biological functions of epigenetically important nucleobases, and to elucidate the diversity in chemical lesion repair.