Epigenetic regulations play important roles in plant development and adaptation to environmental stress. Recent studies from mammalian systems have demonstrated the involvement of ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family of dioxygenases in the generation of a series of oxidized derivatives of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) in mammalian DNA. In addition, these oxidized 5-mC nucleobases have important roles in epigenetic remodeling and aberrant levels of 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxycytidine (5-HmdC) were found to be associated with different types of human cancers. However, there is a lack of evidence supporting the presence of these modified bases in plant DNA. Here we reported the use of a reversed-phase HPLC coupled with tandem mass spectrometry method and stable isotope-labeled standards for assessing the levels of the oxidized 5-mC nucleosides along with two other oxidatively induced DNA modifications in genomic DNA of Arabidopsis. These included 5-HmdC, 5-formyl-2′- deoxycytidine (5-FodC), 5-carboxyl-2′-deoxycytidine (5-CadC), 5-hydroxymethyl-2′-deoxyuridine (5-HmdU), and the (5′S) diastereomer of 8,5′-cyclo-2′-deoxyguanosine (S-cdG). We found that, in Arabidopsis DNA, the levels of 5-HmdC, 5-FodC, and 5-CadC are approximately 0.8 modifications per 106 nucleosides, with the frequency of 5-HmdC (per 5-mdC) being comparable to that of 5-HmdU (per thymidine). The relatively low levels of the 5-mdC oxidation products suggest that they arise likely from reactive oxygen species present in cells, which is in line with the lack of homologous Tet-family dioxygenase enzymes in Arabidopsis. © 2013 Liu et al.
Liu, S., Dunwell, T. L., Pfeifer, G. P., Dunwell, J. M., Ullah, I., & Wang, Y. (2013). Detection of oxidation products of 5-methyl-2′-deoxycytidine in arabidopsis DNA. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084620