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Journal of Nucleic Acids
Volume 2010, Article ID 931394, 6 pages
Research Article

Intracellular DNA Damage by Lysine-Acetylene Conjugates

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4390, USA

Received 25 April 2010; Revised 26 June 2010; Accepted 6 July 2010

Academic Editor: Ashis Basu

Copyright © 2010 Wang-Yong Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previously, we reported the design and properties of alkyne C-lysine conjugates, a powerful and tunable family of DNA cleaving reagents. We also reported that, upon photoactivation, these molecules are capable of inducing cancer cells death. To prove that the cell death stems from DNA cleavage by the conjugates, we investigated intracellular DNA damage induced by these molecules in LNCap cancer cells using single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assays. The observation of highly efficient DNA damage confirmed that lysine acetylene conjugate is capable of cleaving the densely compacted intracellular DNA. This result provides a key mechanistic link between efficient DNA cleavage and cytotoxicity towards cancer cells for this family of light-activated anticancer agents.