Oxidative DNA damage on the VEGF G-quadruplex forming promoter is repaired via long-patch BER

Adil S. Hussen, Haley L. Kravitz, Bret D. Freudenthal, Amy M. Whitaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In response to oxidative damage, base excision repair (BER) enzymes perturb the structural equilibrium of the VEGF promoter between B-form and G4 DNA conformations, resulting in epigenetic-like modifications of gene expression. However, the mechanistic details remain enigmatic, including the activity and coordination of BER enzymes on the damaged G4 promoter. To address this, we investigated the ability of each BER factor to conduct its repair activity on VEGF promoter G4 DNA substrates by employing pre-steady-state kinetics assays and in vitro coupled BER assays. OGG1 was able to initiate BER on double-stranded VEGF promoter G4 DNA substrates. Moreover, pre-steady-state kinetics revealed that compared to B-form DNA, APE1 repair activity on the G4 was decreased ~two-fold and is the result of slower product release as opposed to inefficient strand cleavage. Interestingly, Pol β performs multiple insertions on G4 substrates via strand displacement DNA synthesis in contrast to a single insertion on B-form DNA. The multiple insertions inhibit ligation of the Pol β products, and hence BER is not completed on the VEGF G4 promoter substrates through canonical short-patch BER. Instead, repair requires the long-patch BER flap-endonuclease activity of FEN1 in response to the multiple insertions by Pol β prior to ligation. Because the BER proteins and their repair activities are a key part of the VEGF transcriptional enhancement in response to oxidative DNA damage of the G4 VEGF promoter, the new insights reported here on BER activity in the context of this promoter are relevant toward understanding the mechanism of transcriptional regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-39
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Volume65 Suppl 1
Issue numberSuppl 1
Early online dateSep 1 2023
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • DNA repair
  • DNA synthesis
  • G-quadruplex
  • base excision repair
  • gene expression
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/genetics
  • Oxidative Stress/genetics
  • DNA Damage/genetics
  • DNA Repair/genetics
  • DNA, B-Form
  • DNA/genetics


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