Molecular mechanisms underlying Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis are still unclear. Therefore, we analyzed the levels of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and other oxidative lesions at codon 176 of the p53 gene, as well as the generation of 3-(2-deoxy-β-d-erythro-pentafuranosyl)pyrimido[1,2-α]purin-10(3H)-one deoxyguanosine (M1dG), in a cohort of HCV-related HCC patients from Italy. Detection of 8-oxodG and 5-hydroxycytosine (5-OHC) was performed by ligation mediated-polymerase chain reaction assay, whereas the levels of M1dG were measured by chromatography and mass-spectrometry. Results indicated a significant 130% excess of 8-oxodG at –TGC– position of p53 codon 176 in HCV-HCC cases as compared to controls, after correction for age and gender, whereas a not significant increment of 5-OHC at –TGC– position was found. Then, regression models showed an 87% significant excess of M1dG in HCV-HCC cases relative to controls. Our study provides evidence that increased adduct binding does not occur randomly on the sequence of the p53 gene but at specific sequence context in HCV-HCC patients. By-products of lipid peroxidation could also yield a role in HCV-HCC development. Results emphasize the importance of active oxygen species in inducing nucleotide lesions at a p53 mutational hotspot in HCV-HCC patients living in geographical areas without dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1.
Chemistry and Pharmacology