Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP) is a DNA repair disease characterized by nucleotide excision repair (NER) malfunction, leading to photosensitivity and increased incidence of skin malignancies. The role of XP-A in NER pathways has been well studied while discrepancies associated with ROS levels and the role of radical species between normal and deficient XPA cell lines have been observed. Using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry we have determined the four 5’,8-cyclopurines (cPu) lesions (i.e., 5′R-cdG, 5′S-cdG, 5′R-cdA and 5′S-cdA), 8-oxo-dA and 8-oxo-dG in wt (EUE-pBD650) and XPA-deficient (EUE-siXPA) human embryonic epithelial cell lines, under different oxygen tension (hyperoxic 21%, physioxic 5% and hypoxic 1%). The levels of Fe and Cu were also measured. The main findings of our study were: (i) the total amount of cPu (1.82–2.52 lesions/106 nucleotides) is the same order of magnitude as 8-oxo-Pu (3.10–4.11 lesions/106 nucleotides) in both cell types, (ii) the four cPu levels are similar in hyperoxic and physioxic conditions for both wt and deficient cell lines, whereas 8-oxo-Pu increases in all cases, (iii) both wt and deficient cell lines accumulated high levels of cPu under hypoxic compared to physioxic conditions, whereas the 8-oxo-Pu levels show an opposite trend, (iv) the diastereoisomeric ratios 5′R/5′S are independent of oxygen concentration being 0.29 for cdG and 2.69 for cdA for EUE-pBD650 (wt) and 0.32 for cdG and 2.94 for cdA for EUE-siXPA (deficient), (v) in deficient cell lines Fe levels were significantly higher. The data show for the first time the connection of oxygen concentration in cells with different DNA repair ability and the levels of different DNA lesions highlighting the significance of cPu. Membrane lipidomic data at 21% O2 indicated differences in the fatty acid contents between wild type and deficient cells, envisaging functional effects on membranes associated with the different repair capabilities, to be further investigated.
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