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Jonasson, Niko S. W.; Janssen, Rachel; Menke, Annika; Zott, Fabian L.; Zipse, Hendrik and Daumann, Lena J. (2021): TET-Like Oxidation in 5-Methylcytosine and Derivatives: A Computational and Experimental Study. In: Chembiochem, Vol. 22, No. 23: pp. 3333-3340

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The epigenetic marker 5-methylcytosine (5mC) is an important factor in DNA modification and epigenetics. It can be modified through a three-step oxidation performed by ten-eleven-translocation (TET) enzymes and we have previously reported that the iron(IV)-oxo complex [Fe(O)(Py5Me2H)](2+) (1) can oxidize 5mC. Here, we report the reactivity of this iron(IV)-oxo complex towards a wider scope of methylated cytosine and uracil derivatives relevant for synthetic DNA applications, such as 1-methylcytosine (1mC), 5-methyl-iso-cytosine (5miC) and thymine (T/5mU). The observed kinetic parameters are corroborated by calculation of the C-H bond energies at the reactive sites which was found to be an efficient tool for reaction rate prediction of 1 towards methylated DNA bases. We identified oxidation products of methylated cytosine derivatives using HPLC-MS and GC-MS. Thereby, we shed light on the impact of the methyl group position and resulting C-H bond dissociation energies on reactivity towards TET-like oxidation.

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