The antitumor antibiotic bleomycin has long been believed to exert its therapeutic effects at the level of DNA cleavage. Recently, evidence has been presented to suggest that RNA cleavage may also be important and that one or more transfer RNAs may be involved. To define those tRNAs that may represent important loci for the action of bleomycin, we have fractionated chicken liver tRNAs and identified those isoacceptors most susceptible to oxidative cleavage by Fe(II)·BLM. Two chicken liver tRNAs, tRNA3Lys and tRNAPhe, were found to be cleaved with exceptional facility by Fe(II)·BLM, and both were cleaved predominantly at U66. The cleavage of tRNA3Lys was shown to be minimally affected by physiological concentrations of Mg2+. Chicken liver tRNA3Lys is identical in sequence with human tRNA3Lys. These findings support a possible role for a critical tRNA such as tRNA3Lys in the mechanism by which bleomycin mediates its antitumor activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry